Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Homemade Pretzel Rolls

 Last nigh I visited my Mom's house to drop off a few things. She had just made a trip to Costco, and on the counter was a big bag full of pretzel rolls. I had never tried them before, and out of curiosity I grabbed one from the bag and tasted it. I was pleasantly surprised at the soft, sweet and salty "pretzel like" flavor they had. I couldn't eat just one, lets leave it at that.
I returned home later and told my hubby how tasty they were. Just to prove it to him, I felt inspired to make my own at home. Why not try? I had all the ingredients here, and it would save me a few $ and a painful trip to Costco with two toddlers.
I saw this recipe over at Une Bonnie Vie, and decided to try it with a few moderations of my own. I halved the recipe because I didn't need a large amount of rolls, and I read that these are best eaten the same day as they are baked.  I also changed the flour to bread flour instead of all purpose. Bread flour has a higher content of gluten, making for more chewy and softer bread.

Roll Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups bread flour (some places have higher humidity, so you will use more flour. I live in a pretty dry place so I used about 4 cups)

Bath ingredients
8 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons baking powder

Remember you can double this if you want a larger quantity!

 Add your liquids, and salt, sugar, oil and yeast into your mixer. (DO NOT PANIC IF YOU DONT HAVE A MIXER! THIS CAN BE DONE BY HAND JUST AS WELL :)
Now give the ingredients a quick 2 second mix, and cover with a towel and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.

 Now your yeast has had a chance to activate, you can see that it is foamy and bubbly. That means you are doing it right!
While mixer is on low, mix in 2 cups of bread flour.
 When the flour is incorporated, change your whisk to your dough hook.
 Now add in 1-2 cups of bread flour, or until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and looses most of its "stickiness". IT IS MUCH BETTER TO ADD LESS DOUGH AND SLOWLY ADD MORE, THAN ADD TOO MUCH AND HAVE DENSE DRY ROLLS.
 Once dough is mixed, remove your dough hook and cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double.

Now you will want to grease your counter top with Crisco. Pour the dough on to the greased counter and with a sharp greased knife, slice it in half.

Slice the halves in half, and once again. When I was done, I had 16 little dough nuggets of love :)
Now you want to take the dough, and form it into  tight ball by working the sides of the dough underneath to the bottom. Don't overwork it to the point where the dough tears on top, just keep tucking the sides underneath and softly form a ball.
Cover them with plastic wrap loosely and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, head over and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You also need to prepare the water bath. Grab a large pot and fill it with 8 cups of water. Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring water to a boil.
Slowly uncover your rolls, they should be nice and puffy.
Take 3-4 at a time, and drop them into the boiling water for 1 minute. I flipped mine once during boiling, and then with a slatted spoon, remove them and shake of water quickly. Then place them onto a HEAVILY greased cookie sheet.
Quickly sprinkle with kosher salt (not course just regular), and make a quarter inch deep cross slice on the top. This will make the pretty little "x" on the roll as it bakes. You could also do three lines across instead if you want. Both are pretty.
 Place the rolls in the hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pretzels are deep brown and smell delicious!
I think you will be surprised at how much they taste like real pretzels!

 This is a really fun recipe to do with your kids, you can have them sprinkle the salt or help you plop them in the hot water bath. They are so yummy and fun for a change up in snack time. Also, they can be made larger so you can use them as a sandwich bun. You can add dried onions, sesame seeds, cheese or even do sweet and add cinnamon and sugar on top. Have fun trying new things!
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