I love a good soft pretzel. Unfortunately, when I tried my hand at them, I was less than successful.
These pretzel rolls, however, made me feel much better about my pretzel making ability. I think they count as bread, since there is yeast involved, and I used them to create mini-sandwiches with some herb roasted turkey from Whole Foods and Dijon for lunch a few weeks ago.
Here's the recipe:
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 envelope quick-rising yeast, or regular
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten
1. Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar in a large bowl with a whisk.
2. Using a wooden spoon, gradually pour hot water while mixing, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Bop it around for about a minute to "knead" it.
3. Grease medium bowl (Use a butter wrapper--I save them in the freezer for the next time I need one). Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes (or longer if you didn't use quick-rising yeast).
4. Flour baking sheet, or clear area of counter. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces (So that's in half, in half again, and then one more time in half for you mathphobic among you, or me, who that helped). Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on a floured baking sheet. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease (or use parchment, like I did) another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining rolls.
6. Using a serrated knife, cut an "X" on the top of each roll. Brush rolls with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature.