Years ago when we visited Germany we had some delicious pretzel rolls from one of the many excellent bakeries there. We had them here in the states once when we were visiting a restaurant in Findlay, Ohio, where my niece Dena worked at the time. The pretzel rolls were a choice of the breads you could choose for sandwiches. I have seen them recently at Trader Joe's here in town.
When we were visiting Megan this summer she planned for us to make pretzel rolls one day. We had both seen the recipe on the Tasty Kitchen website, but she had gotten around to trying it before I did. I made them again this week and wanted to share the recipe here. Making these rolls is similar to making bagels. You make the dough, let it rise, shape it, let it rise again and then simmer the rolls briefly in a bath of water and baking soda.
After this you brush them with beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse salt and then bake them. This gives them their pretzel-like appearance and taste.
4 cups bread flour (approximately)
2 tsps. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 tsps. salt
4 Tbsps. butter, melted
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt for sprinkling on top
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the warm water and the melted butter. Mix with dough hook adding additional flour if necessary to make a soft dough. Set aside in a warm place to rise for one hour.
Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Spray with pan spray. (I did not do this and had trouble with one pan sticking.) Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 18 pieces and shape each piece into a smooth round ball. Place on the sheets, cover, (I use waxed paper) and let rise for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime preheat oven to 425 degrees and place two quarts of water in a large kettle and then bring this to a boil. When the dough has risen sufficiently add the 1/4 baking soda to the boiling water and reduce the temperature to a simmer. Carefully add the rolls to the water a few at a time and let them "poach" for about 30 seconds on each side, turning once. Remove the rolls from the water with a slotted spoon and place back on the baking sheets. Brush with the beaten egg and then cut a cross in the center of each roll. Sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake for about 20 mins. or until well browned. Enjoy your delicious pretzel rolls!
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