Awesome! You probably saved me from going to jail!!! Having grown up in Bavaria, I miss pretzels terribly and always play with the idea of trying to break the law and smuggle them back with me to the U.S., not a good idea if you don't want to get to know customs and who-knows-what agencies from up close. I knew that usually the pretzels get washed with lye in Germany and that always stopped me from even trying to make them over here. Then I saw your recipe and the baking soda wash and went to work right away. They were absolutely delicious, the best thing you can make without lye. I followed the recipe exactly and found the dough to be just the right consistency but I also didn't overknead the dough. I made my baking soda wash a little stronger by using only 2 1/2 cups of water. If you use a smaller pot the fluid is deep enough that you don't have to flip the pretzels over, the will simply swim in the solution and be coated all around. A large slotted spoon is just the tool for the task and works perfectly. To get the pretzels off the baking sheet, be patient and let them cool a bit on the sheet before going to remove them. Then a turner will slide them off easily enough.
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Awesome! You probably saved me from going to jail!!! Having grown up in Bavaria, I miss...