New year's pretzels

Yield: 2 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Milk
½ cup Butter or margarine
2 packs Yeast; active, dry
2 teaspoons Salt
½ cup Sugar
7 cups Flour; unbleached
2 eaches Eggs; large
1 cup Confectioners' sugar
1 x ;water
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
¼ cup Almonds; chopped

Heat milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F.). Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Slowly beat into warm milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and let rise again until doubled. (1 hour more). Divide dough in half. Shape pretzel as follows: Roll dough into a rope about 30 inches long and 1½ inches in diameter. Cross the ends leaving a large loop in the center. Flip loop back onto crossed ends to form a pretzel. Repeat with remaining dough. Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Let rise 15 minutes more.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on wire racks. Mix confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing. Spread icing on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Makes 2 large pretzels.

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