One evening I decided to make pretzel rolls. I tried one recipe that was ok, and then I changed it up a bit and the rolls went from ok to “This is the best bread you have ever made!”
I originally used the recipe at Chow.com. It’s a good recipe, I just changed it a little because that’s how I roll.
Roll. Get it? Do you see what I did there? Roll.
This Big Happy’s Amazing (You’ll Never Buy Them Again, Your Friends Will Beg For More)
Soft Pretzel Rolls
Photos are at the bottom of this post
1 ½ C warm water
1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, melted*
4-5 C all purpose flour (sifted if you can manage it)
¼ cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten**
In a small bowl mix the water, yeast and sugar. Stir well and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Pour the yeast-sugar-water into a larger bowl, add the salt and melter butter. Mix well.
Add the flour, mixing well after each cup. Start with 4 cups, you may need another ½ to 1 cup if it’s still too wet. You want it to be on the stiffer side of things but still give a little when you poke a finger into it. Mix it all together really well by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Put it into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for about 45 minutes (if your house is cold you’ll need to allow an hour or longer).
Turn the dough out onto an oiled or floured surface and flatten it into a square. Divide the dough into 12 pieces (or 8 if you’re going for larger rolls or hamburger buns).
Roll the dough into balls and pinch together at the bottom. (Check out this link for a how-to on rolling dough)
Place the rolls on a baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal or lined with parchment.
Allow the rolls to rise again for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 425.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the baking soda and stir well.
Drop each roll into the water and boil for about 30 seconds, then flip it and boil another 30 seconds. Remove the roll with a slotted spoon, place it back on the parchment/cornmeal-lined baking sheet. Gently slash the top of the roll with a knife and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they’re nice and brown on top.
Remove from oven and immediately do the egg wash, sprinkle with more salt if you so desire.
Move the rolls to a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before you dig into them, if you don’t you will burn your tongue. Good luck, they’re really hard to resist.
*I hesitate to say this, but, the butter is optional. It makes the rolls a bit moister and I recommend you use it, but if you don’t it won’t be the end of the world.
**This is for the egg wash you give these babies after cooking. You don’t have to use egg though, you can use oil, warm water or milk instead. If you plan on holding these babies for a day or two before serving skip the egg wash step or they’ll get mushy.
***You’re supposed to use pretzel salt but I don’t buy pretzel salt. Who buys pretzel salt? I use regular old salt and it works just fine.
Your dough should look something like this BEFORE kneading
Finished pretzel rolls, after egg wash. See how shiney they are?? Yum.