I've now tried making pretzels twice, well three times really. It went much better the last time I did it.
I discovered the key to boiling pretzels!! This is a bigger deal than you think. If boiling does not go well, it makes the entire experience frustrating. The water gets nasty. It is really hot. The pretzels fall apart. They don't cooperate in general. They start to look bad and get water logged.
Boiling is the key to a chewy outside and soft inside, which my DH says is one of the most important pretzel components. The secret: boiling is not the key, water at boiling temperature is. The boil needs to be amazingly gentle. It can't disturb the waterlogged developing crust. You also have to leave the pretzels in long enough that they begin to form a crust. In the picture here, the water is boiling far too rapidly. In my final batch it hardly bubbled. At all, as a result, when I finished, the water was still clear and all of the pretzels turned out well. In the batch boiled in this water, only 3 turned out well, they went down hill very quickly after that.
Heavenly Homemakers. She doesn't boil hers. I think that this makes them taste like bread, not pretzels.
I also decide how many to make by how easy it is to cut the dough. He recipe gave me 16. (I did 16 because I could half the dough each time. )I liked the size of a pretzels.
Between batches I froze the pretzels and then let them thaw in order to keep them from rising.
I also rolled mine out to 24-26 inches before shaping. Getting ready to start. I also laid out all my supplies and greased my pans.