1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 425º F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine water, sugar and salt then sprinkle yeast on surface of water. Let stand for 10 minutes to activate yeast.
Stir in flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. To knead dough, flatten it with your hands, fold the dough into quarters and then flatten again. Do this for about five minutes. Flour your hands and the work surface to keep the dough from sticking.
Roll the dough into 12" lengths, about 1/2" thick. Form the dough strips into different shapes: the "usual pretzel shape," numbers, letters, etc. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush with egg or water then sprinkle lightly with salt (optional).
Bake at 425º F. for 15 minutes or until golden brown