1largeegg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
coarse salt, for topping
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over top and wait 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the mixing bowl and mix with the dough hook attachment on low speed until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and mix for another 4 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the dough from the bowl, wipe the bowl and lightly grease with nonstick spray. Return dough to the bowl, turning once to cover both sides with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Punch down the dough and remove from bowl to lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 4 equal sections and shape into rolls by gently pulling sides together and pinching to seal. Place the formed rolls, seam side down, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean towel. Let rise 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F and bring the 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once water is boiling, carefully stir in the baking soda.
After dough finishes the second rise, carefully boil each roll for 1 minutes, flipping halfway. (You can boil 2 rolls at a time.) Use a large slotted spoon to remove from the water and return to the pan. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash then sprinkle with coarse salt. Slice a shallow "X" onto the top of each roll.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until dark and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing into bowls.
To slice bread bowls:
Using a small serrated knife, cut the top off each bread bowl in a circular fashion.
Using a spoon, remove the inside bread leaving about 1 inch edge.
Serve immediately with hot soup or hot dip. Or, let cool completely to serve with cold soup or cold dip.
For serving hot soup (optional):
To keep soup hot in bread bowl, brush the insides of the bread bowls with olive oil and bake in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes right before adding the soup. This will keep the soup hot to the last bite!
Brush the cut side of the tops and also bake with the bowls for a crispy dipper. SO good!
Each pretzel bread bowl holds about 8 ounces of soup.