These are incredibly fun to make and naturally delicious to eat. Top the pretzels with either poppy, fennel or sesame seeds, or other seed of your choice. Serve them warm as a snack with mustard and a cold beer, or simply enjoy any time.
Pretzels are thought to have been created by European monks, though from which country exactly remains a mystery. From the 12th century on, the pretzel became the emblem used by the German Bakers' Guild.
Cover the dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. A warm place can be in front of a heater, in a warm sunny spot or on the open door of the oven at 100°C/210°F.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into 12 even portions. Roll each portion into a long thin rope, adding a little more flour to the surface to prevent sticking. Form each rope into a U-shape.
To form the pretzel shape, cross the ends of the U-shape rope to form a loop. Twist once in the centre. Fold the ends down, over the loop
Gently dip pretzels in the combined soda and water in a shallow dish. Place the pretzels on oven trays and sprinkle with salt flakes and seeds. You can use your favourites here or leave them plain if you prefer