There's nothing quite like a homemade soft pretzel. Enjoy these with butter, jam, or Nutella. Before putting the brezels in the oven, brush them with egg and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over them to create an even sweeter treat.
Put the flour, instant yeast, sugar, butter, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer.
Mix ingredients together in an electric mixer on slow for 5 minutes. Begin by adding only ¾ cup of the milk, and then continue to add the remainder, little by little, until the dough is smooth. If the dough gets too sticky, you’ve added too much milk, in which case you can add a little extra flour to compensate.
Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. As soon as the dough is nice and smooth and doesn’t stick to the bowl, it’s ready.
Lightly oil your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Use a bench knife to divide up the dough cleanly into 3-ounce segments. Roll the segments into little balls. Then, roll all the dough balls into 6-inch strips. Then, roll them into thinner 12-inch strips. (Rolling the dough in two sets prevents the dough from cracking.)
To shape the dough strips into brezel shapes, first form the strips into a "U" shape. Hold the ends of the "U" and gently cross them over each other to the opposite bottom side, twisting them once as they cross. Press each end firmly on each opposite bottom to secure the shape. Place the brezels on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap, making sure not to press down on the dough. Lay the plastic over the brezels, without securing it to the edges of the pan.
Place the tray in a warm spot and let the brezels rise for 30-40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 410-420 degrees. (Since oven temperatures can vary, it may be necessary to later adjust the temperature setting within this range to keep the brezels from browning too quickly or unevenly.)
Once the brezels have proofed, crack the egg into a bowl and whisk with a dash of salt. Then brush brezels lightly and evenly with the egg wash.
Place the brezels in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.