Monday, February 3, 2014

Pretzel Rolls

I first made these pretzel rolls for Christmas Eve to go along with our seafood chowder and a salad. I had been wanting to try pretzel rolls for a while but was intimidated because I assumed they were complicated (which is funny because I've made pretzel bites before so I don't know why it seemed so different!).

And while it does require working with yeast, they really aren't that complicated.  These pretzel rolls morphed from being pretzel bread bowls for the chowder to rolls eaten alone to hamburger buns.  They are definitely deliciously versatile!  And they freeze pretty well, too.  I froze a portion of these rolls and on a super warm January day, we decided to grill burgers.  And we had these delicious pretzel rolls to make into hamburger buns!

To me, the only thing that distinguishes bread bowls from rolls or buns is the size.  If you want bread bowls, I'd suggest making them big.  For rolls or buns, I'd make them smaller.  I made about half of the batch large and the other half small so they could work for anything!

Pretzel Rolls
Taken from: A Beautiful Mess
Makes 8 large rolls or 12 smaller rolls (I did about 4 large and 6 smaller -- I'd probably do them all small next time until you are making bread bowls)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 1/4  teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8-10 cups water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons coarse grain sea salt

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the 3 tablespoons butter, 2 cups hot water and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Stir to combine and also to melt the butter. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow to proof (foam/bubble up) for 5-6 minutes. 
  2. With the dough hook attachment (you can also do this by hand instead of in a mixer) stir in three cups flour and two teaspoons salt. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining three cups flour. Mix until a dough ball forms. Continue kneading until dough becomes somewhat elastic like (about 4-5 minutes). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. 
  3. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for one hour. If your house is a little on the chilly side (as mine is this time of year) let the dough rise in a warmed oven. Just turn the oven on low for a couple of minutes (while you prepare the dough). Then, turn it off, but keep the door closed, trapping the heat. Before you place the dough in the oven, be sure it's not too warm, you don't want to bake the dough.
  4. After an hour, punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8-12 pieces and roll into small balls. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  5. In a large pot heat 8-10 cups of water until just boiling. Carefully stir in 1/3 cup baking soda. Keep at a low boil and place each dough ball into the water. Cook for 45 seconds, flipping after about 20 seconds. Remove and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Once you've boiled each ball cut a small X on the top of each dough ball with a sharp knife. Brush with the two tablespoons melted butter and top with coarse grain sea salt.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 15-18 minutes, until very brown on the outside.  
  7. (If you are making bread bowls, they recommend using a sharp knife to cut an inverted pyramid out of the center of the bread. Scoop out even more of the bread if you want a little extra space for soup. 


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