I like watching Food Network's "Good Eats" with Alton Brown. He had an episode where he made pretzels, only instead of dipping them in lye, like my dad did, he made a boiling water & baking soda wash (a little safer).
I thought I'd give it a try. The dough did just what it was supposed to do, and using the egg yolk wash made the pretzels brown up very nicely, however...
They were soft. Like, all over. They were more like those mall pretzels, or maybe the kind you get at a ball park. I made rolls as well as standard pretzels, because I like using them like a sandwich - these will mash :(
The German pretzels my dad made were crunchy on the smaller bits & the crust was very crunchy. Only the middle was soft on my dad's pretzels.
So... while these tasted okay, I kind of like the crusty hard kind better.
These were also very moist inside. I'm used to a drier, chewier texture, instead of something more like a fresh potato roll.
Still, the baking soda wash worked pretty well. I wonder if I use my dad's actual recipe and try the soda wash, and then bake at the lower temp for a longer time if they would be more like the pretzels I'm used to having... Guess I'll have to experiment a little more.