Hawaiian Black Salt is the crowning (black) jewel on these homemade pretzels. The salt makes something everyday into something special. Use this salt to finish homemade bread or anything where there is a contrast ... the sky is the limit ... tomatoes, cheese, white fish, risotto (you get the picture) ...
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp table salt
1 packet active dried yeast
4 1/2 cups flour (I used pastry flour)
50 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
one egg yolk
In a small bowl, combine the water and sugar. Add the yeast and let sit until it foams, about 5 minutes. Sift together the table salt and flour, and add this to the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the water/sugar/yeast mixture, along with the butter, while mixing on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides. If it's too dry add some water; if it's too wet, add more flour. Place the dough ball in an oiled container and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until the dough doubles in size (about an hour).
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (You could also use lightly oiled non-stick cookie sheets.) In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with a tablespoon of water and set aside. Bring the 10 cups of water, along with the baking soda, to a boil in a roasting pan.
Divide the dough into eight equal sections. On a lightly oiled surface, roll one section into a rope, approximately 2 feet (60 cm) long. Pull the ends up into a "u" and then bring them back down to make a pretzel shape.
Slide the pretzels one at a time into the boiling water, for 30 seconds each. Remove from the water with a flat spatula and place on your lined baking sheets, brush with the egg wash and and salt generously. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until they get nice and brown on top. Cool on a rack.