4 to 4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons salt
3 quarts boiling water
1 slightly beaten egg white
1 tablespoon water
Sesame seed, poppy seed, or coarse salt
1. In a large mixing bowl stir together 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, oil and the 1 teaspoon salt till warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees). Add milk mixture to dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double in size (about 1-1/4 hours).
3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
4. Roll dough into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle. Cut into twenty 12 x 1/2 inch strips. Gently pull each strip into a rope about 16 inches long. Shape into pretzels.
5. Carefully place pretzels on prepared baking sheets. Bake in a 475 degree F. oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 350 degree F.
6. Dissolve the 2 tablespoons salt in the boiling water. Lower pretzels, 3 or 4 at a time, into boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes, turning once. Using slotted spoon, remove from water; drain on paper towels. Let stand a few seconds. Place about 1/2 inch apart on well greased baking sheets.
7. In a small mixing bowl stir together egg white and the 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with some of the egg white mixture. Sprinkle pretzels lightly with sesame seed, poppy seed, or coarse salt. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheets. Cool in wire racks.