For the pretzels:
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F)
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 1/4 cups (540 grams) all-purpose flour
For baking soda bath:
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
For the cinnamon sugar coating:
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, completely softened to room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar
Make the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all of the dough ingredients. Mix on low speed until combined.
Increase speed to medium and knead for 7 to 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands, adding more flour if needed.
Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.
Shape the pretzels:
Remove the dough to a clean work surface. Divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece against the counter or between your palms into about a 20-inch long log. Keep the remaining pieces covered. Only add flour to your work surface or dough if absolutely necessary.
Using a bench cutter, cut about thirteen 1 1/2-inch pieces from each log. Be sure to not cut these too big, they will puff up in the oven! Place on two greased parchment lined baking sheets.
Prepare the baking soda bath:
Bring the water to a boil (I like to use an electric kettle). Carefully pour the water into a large bowl (I use the bowl the dough rose in) and add in the baking soda. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve.
Dunk the pretzels bites in the baking soda solution, starting with the ones you shaped first, for no more than thirty seconds before gently removing with a slotted spoon back to the greased and lined baking sheets, spacing them out at least half an inch apart.
Bake the pretzels:
Bake both trays at 400°F for about 12 to 15 minutes, alternating the trays half through the baking time for even baking, until golden brown to your preference.
Let cool for 5 minutes before peeling away from the parchment paper.
Coat with cinnamon sugar:
Place the cooked pretzels in a large sealable container. Toss with the melted butter. Add the cinnamon and sugar and toss to combine.
Make the cream cheese dip:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, cream or milk, and vanilla on medium-high speed until very light, creamy, and smooth, about three minutes. On low speed, gradually add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.
Coated pretzels are best served soon after making. Alternatively, you can freeze the baked uncoated pretzels. Thaw to room temperature, then refresh in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes before coating as the recipe instructs.