From Food + Wine this recipe from Hans Rockenwagner is fantastic.
3 3/4 cups Flour
1 1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 1/4 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoon unsalted Butter, soft
5 Cups Water, baking soda
The magic is in the baking soda bath.
Mix the flour, yeast, salt and butter in a upright dough mixer [kitchenaid] with dough hook.
Warm the water so it’s not too hot and add. Beat on medium for two minutes. Then for 4-8 beat on high.
Take out of the bowl and let rise, covered on a floured surface for 5 minutes.
Then cut into 8 pieces and roll into 8 balls. Cover, and let rise for another 5 minutes.
Now you will make the pretzel shape.
Form the rope into a U shape. Twist the two ends around each other twice, and then bring the ends towards the crest of the U and then press in.
Place the pretzels on wax paper and a baking sheet, cover. Refrigerate for two hours.
Before you take the cold pretzels out, make a baking soda bath out of a large pot of boiling water and 1/2 Cup of Baking Soda. It will fizzle when you put it in.
Dunk each pretzel in the bath for 30 seconds, remove and let drain on a wire rack. Sprinkle with salt or other seasoning. Then bake the pretzels at 400 degrees for 17 minutes.