Finally after months of struggle, I managed to get the pretzel rolls that I dreamed of. For some reason, all this time, every attempt I made ended in failure, either because of the dough, or the shape that didn’t quite work for me, but most of the time… because I was a nub.
There is not much story I can tell about this recipe, so I will get right into it. Activate your yeast, of course. Lukewarm water, sugar, yeast and wait for 5 minutes.
As I said before I experienced some difficulties in making these rolls, one of them was the dough. For some reason I couldn’t find the right water quantity because most of the recipes out there use only a cup and a half and that didn’t work for me. Weird I know, that’s why I used 2 cups of water in my recipe and from what I heard it seems to be something about altitude or dry air or whatever, so if you are mountain side like me you are good to go with my quantities. The dough should come out silky-soft but not sticky, malleable enough so you can roll it without too much trouble.
At this point, you can add everything to your mixer bowl and give it a serious swirl, though you might need to do a little “manual” kneading as well. As I said before it’s all about the environment, if dough looks a bit too soft add some more flour… if it’s too hard and crumbles, add some water though I doubt you will need it.
Let it rest for about an hour or until it doubles in size and start making your pretzels, you will end up with 16 of them but it all depends of the size, of course. Let them rise again for about 30 minutes then fill up a large saucepan with 2 quarts of water (about 2l), bring it to boil temperature then reduce heat and pour in the baking soda.
Slip your rolls seam side down into the water and poach for 30 seconds then roll them and do the same for the other side. This is where it gets complicated again, not boiling long enough leaves them too soft and they rise too much. Boiling too long makes them tough and you don’t want that either, 30 seconds worked for me though. Anyway, place them on a wood plank (do not use paper towels like I did one time), again seam side down and brush them with lightly beaten egg, making sure you coat all sides as best as you can.
Pour some coarse salt on them and cut a slash in the top of each roll. The cut needs to be pretty deep so a simple scratch will not work, that was another one of those “difficulties” I was talking about, and you have to do it after you brushed them, pretty much right before you are ready to throw them inside the oven. Anyway, you can also use sesame seeds or poppy seeds or any combination of these.
At last, you can bake them at 425° F / 220° C for 15-20 min or until they get dark-brownish. This ends my pretzel rolls annoying experience but they were delicious nonetheless.
- 4½ cups Flour, all purpose
- 2 cups Water, lukewarm
- 1 tbsp Yeast
- 4 tbsp (60g) Butter, melted
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg, for brushing
- ¼ cup Baking Soda
- Activate your yeast, with 2 cups warm water and 2 tsp sugar and let it sit for few minutes. Melt the butter using microwave oven... easy way.
- In the bowl of your mixer add flour, salt, melted butter and the activated yeast and mix for few minutes. Adjust water/flour quantity if needed (read my instructions from above). When everything looks good take the dough out and knead for another minute. Make it into a ball, rub some vegetable oil on it so it doesnt dry up and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
- Cut the dough into 16 pieces and roll them into balls. This one is a bit of pain for those that don't know the drill but easy mode is to pull the sides to the center and pinch it to seal, until the surface is smooth. Roll it a bit on a wooden plank and place it seam side down. You can let them rise again for 30 minutes if you want, they will look smoother, or you can go on with the next step.
- Fill up a large saucepan with 2 quarts of water (about 2l), bring it to boil temperature then reduce heat and pour in the baking soda. Slip your rolls seam side down into the water and poach for 30 seconds then roll them and do the same for the other side.
- Place them on a wood plank, again seam side down and brush with lightly beaten egg. Sprinkle some coarse salt or any other things that you might think of and cut a decent slash in the top of each roll.
- Bake at 425° F / 220° C for 15-20 min or until they get dark-brownish.
- Pffew!!! They are delicious... enjoy!