1 large potato
4 ounces bacon (4 to 5 slices)
1 cup very warm tap water, divided
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Use a fork to pierce the potato in several places. Microwave according to your appliance's directions until cooked through. Let cool, then peel the potato and place the flesh in a bowl. Mash well, then set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium-high, cook bacon until crispy. Reserve fat in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels, then chop or crumble into 1/4 -inch pieces. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of water, yeast and sugar. Let sit until bubbly.
Use an electric mixer on low to mix in flour, salt, remaining water, mashed potato and reserved bacon grease. When dough comes together, add chives and bacon. Mix on low for 5 minutes.
The dough should be soft and sticky, but pull away from sides of bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and let it rest, covered, until doubled.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 -inch thick. Use a knife or pizza wheel to cut dough into 15 strips. Use your hands to roll strips into snakes.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. One at a time, arrange snakes on baking sheet, looping them into a pretzel shape. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel, then let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 F.
Sprinkle tops of pretzels with parmesan cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.