While living in southern Germany I developed a taste for Bavarian style pretzels, along with German beer and sausages. This recipe produces the best pretzels I have had since Germany. I have tried all sorts of recipes, including boiling in a baking soda solution. None come close to this recipe and you don't have to boil them. The secret is lye! German bakers dip their pretzels in a lye solution before salting and baking them. Lye can be dangerous to work with but I will show you my method and the precautions I use. Hold the Hefeweizen until the end.
Yields: 4-6 large Bavarian Pretzels.
Initial prep takes about 20 minutes but since dough needs to ferment and proof, you'll have some time on your hands to do other things.
And lastly... This is my first instructable. I hope it is easy to follow but don't let my writing style discourage you. These pretzels are worth the work!
Keep about 1/4 cup extra flour handy to adjust dough consistency
For lye and salting (wear latex gloves and eye protection. Lye can burn like acid, but the opposite pH)
Read up on using lye for baking if you haven't used it before. It's easy to use but requires respect. And use silicone baking sheets! Lye will remove the finish on metals.