Monday, March 18, 2013

Soft Pretzel Rolls

It is sunny outside. I should want to go running and drink healthy smoothies and spray lemon juice in my hair only to realize that all it does is make me smell like lemon. And make my hair feel sticky. No highlights here.

I should want to do these things, but I don't. I really just want to make a meal out of these rolls and watch Laguna Beach reruns.

These pretzel rolls are definite dinner material.

Just add mustard. Get after it.

Browned butter, climbing dough and freshly shaped rolls.

This is a pretzel dough that doesn't get shaped into pretzels. It requires a single rise, a dip in boiling baking soda-ed water, and less than twenty minutes in the oven.

These taste exactly like concession stand soft pretzels... minus the radioactive looking cheese sauce.

Pretzel Rolls
makes 1 dozen
adapted from Alton Brown via

1 1/2 c warm water (no more than 105 degrees... it will feel slightly warm to the touch)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 packet) active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons browned butter, cooled
1 teaspoon salt
4 - 4 1/2 c AP flour
1 egg yolk
10 c + 2 Tablespoons cold water
1/2 c baking soda

- - -
1. Combine yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 c warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The yeast will activate and begin to foam and bubble. If it does not, discard and start over with new yeast.

2. Attach dough hook to mixer and add in salt and browned and cooled butter. With mixer on low speed, add flour 1 c at a time. Once all flour has been added, turn mixer to medium speed and allow to mix for 4 minutes.

3. After four minutes, the dough should be climbing the hook. This is cool. Remove dough from mixing bowl. Coat the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl with vegetable oil and return dough to bowl, turning it once to coat the top in oil. Set in a warm place to rise for 1- 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled in size.

4. After rising, punch dough down. On a lightly oiled cutting board, divide dough into 12 pieces. Using a circular motion, shape each portion into a small roll (or you could totally shape them into classic pretzels... your call.)

5. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil (about 10 c) and add in 1/2 c baking soda. It will froth when added. This is going to give the pretzels their chewy crust.

6. Add rolls 4 at a time to boiling baking soda water. Boil for 30 seconds, flip them over and boil for another 30 seconds.

7. Remove rolls from water with a slotted spoon and place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray (otherwise, your rolls will stick.)

8. Once you have boiled all your rolls, whisk together the yolk and 2 Tablespoons water in a small bowl and coat the tops and sides of each roll with the egg wash. Sprinkle the tops of each roll with sea salt.

9. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until rolls are a deep brown. Serve with mustard.

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