**Soft pretzels are sold in the theme parks and come in  savory and sweet versions. People (and seagulls) love  them.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

2 cups hot water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 oz. envelope active dry yeast
1 Tbs. sugar
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. salt
2 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbs. baking soda
1 egg
Toppings: coarse salt, cinnamon/sugar, mustard, toasted  almond slices, vanilla/sugar icing

Using an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, place  the hot water in bowl add 1 Tbs. sugar and let dissolve.  Sprinkle the yeast over and let it dissolve. Add the flour and salt  slowly until comb ined, about 30 seconds. Continue to beat on medium speed until sides pull away from bowl. If dough  is sticky, add more flour. Transfer to floured board and  knead 10 times until smooth. Pour oil into bowl and swirl to coat  sides. Place dough in the bowl and place in a warm spot and let rise to double its size. Punch dough down and divide into  16 pieces. Roll one piece of dough at a time to 18" strips.  Twist into pretzel shape. Fill a large shallow pot with 2" of water  and add baking soda. Place pretzels into water and poach one minute. Remove and place onto cookie sheet. Brush  pretzels with beaten egg and bake at 450 degrees for  12-15 minutes until golden. To top, spray with water or cooking spray  and roll into salt or cinnamon sugar or top with vanilla icing and toasted almond slices.