I was finally able to make the pretzel rolls yesterday & they are wonderful! Havoc has already declared I need to make them more often.
I’ve made them a few times in the past with various recipes none of which thrilled me. This time I used one from Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen site. This is the printable page
But let me tell you a few things about it
1-½ cup Warm Water (110°F) – does it feel warm, but not hot to your finger? yes? then it is fine
1 package (1/4 Oz. Packet) Active Dry Yeast (not Quick Rise Yeast) – this is 2.25 teaspoons if you do yeast in bulk
2 teaspoons Sugar
4-½ cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ cups Baking Soda
1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten
Pretzel Salt, To Sprinkle On Top
I used regular sea salt instead of Kosher & large grain sea salt instead of pretzel salt because I do not own Kosher or pretzel salt. You want a decent sized salt grain for the tops. The sea salt was fine.
I used a mix of white flour, wheat flour & 7 grain flour by Bob’s Red Mill instead of just white. This recipe suffers a bit IMO from the American need to use cups instead of weight at a measurement. Being an American I am totally used to it & am also slowly converting my recipes to ounces (because while I agree weight is better than volume, I’m not doing the gram thing as well). I have no idea how much 4.5 c weighs because, as usual, I thought about it after I had dumped 4.5 c of mixed flours into the bowl of water (hence the ‘slowly converting’)
The recipe calls for parchment paper. I had enough for one tray, but needed two trays, so I was able to experiment with that necessity. The parchment is nice. It does make it really easy to remove the rolls when they are done. But they came off the unlined tray with a bit of nudging with a spatula just fine as well. Parchment paper is nice, but not necessary but YMMV.
Stir up the warm water & the yeast in your large mixing bowl then add sugar, flour, salt, & butter & mix until well combined. Put it in a warm place, covered with a towel for an hour or so, until it is twice as big. In my house this is the microwave, especially since it was just used to melt butter.
Then you take the dough and divide it into 18 2 ounce pieces. I suppose if you are not spatially challenged like me you can visually divide the dough up evenly by eye. Me? I need a scale (and am thrilled the recipe said 2ozs, otherwise I would have had to weigh the dough mass & then divide that total by 18 & I try to avoid having unnecessary long division in my life).
This is where the flour weight would have been nice. See, it was humid yesterday so my flour was heavy & 4.5 cups made 19 2oz rolls. Had it been dry I might have ended up with 17 rolls. Granted I did not need 18 rolls specifically but it’s nice to know you are getting consistent results.
Roll out the pieces into balls by pulling the ends to the middle of the bottom & then put it on the counter & give it a few gentle turns with your hand cupped around it & put it seam side down on the baking sheet (papered or not) – 9 per baking sheet, well spaced and let them rise, covered, for 30 minutes or so
I turn on my oven until it reaches 100 degrees then turn it off, crack the oven door a tiny bit for a couple minutes & then use it for rising the dough. This is my rising trick because my house is usually too cold 8 months out of the year to allow for rising on the counter. I have had much better results with things that need to rise doing this and the microwave thing than leaving things out to rise.
After 30 minutes preheat the over to 425. Get out a large sauce pan & add 2 quarts of water to it. Bring the water to a boil & add the baking soda, hope the foamy bubbles do not overflow the pan because that is a pain to clean up, then turn the water down to a simmer.
Place the dough balls one at a time in the water, seam side down. I found 4 fit comfortably in my pan. Let them cook for 30 seconds then flip them over with a slotted spoon or spatula & cook for another 30 seconds, remove them back to their tray & repeat until all the rolls are boiled. You’ll have to turn the temp up on the stove about halfway through to maintain the simmer.
Get a brush and brush the beaten egg on a tray’s worth of rolls, be sure to cover them well in egg,then sprinkle with the salt, take a sharp knife & cut an X in them & bake for 15-20 minutes on the middle rack of your oven.
I did the first back at 17 minutes & found them overdone for my taste, the second batch, seen above, were 14 minutes.
Cool on wire rack
Cut open and use as sandwich buns or eat by themselves with mustard or cheese dipping sauce.
These are grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.
2ozs makes small rolls. Snack size. These would be called sliders & not sandwiches where I come from. They are too small to be real sandwiches, that’s why I made two.
We’re having turkey burger sliders for dinner tonight with them. Next time I make them I will make a mix of 3oz & 4oz size rolls to see which size is best with burgers, because I foresee these being a staple at cookouts this summer.
They freeze well too.
You can also use the dough to make actual soft pretzels, just roll them out into long rolls & twist into pretzel shape instead of making rolls. Knock the baking time back about 5 minutes (IME with other pretzel dough recipes)