Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
Here’s the thing: I love making my own breads, but I mostly love it when it’s easy. I’ve been wanting to make homemade pretzels for awhile now, but just haven’t really had the inclination to spend that much time shaping dough. And today I wanted to make some sort of rolls to serve as buns for the veggie burgers I was planning to make for dinner, but I needed something easy. It’s a busy week. So I thought…pretzel rolls! Perfect.
These guys did take a few steps, but honestly they were dead easy and really kind of impressed me. I made these in between writing, doing laundry, loading the dishwasher, and continually adding things to my massive list of things to do before going out of town this weekend. My brain was only about 20% in the kitchen. The moral of the story is that these guys are winners!
And by the time I was ready to make the veggie burgers, it was way too hot to turn on the oven again. So we ordered pizza. It happens.
Adapted from Bon Appetit via Fake Ginger
2 3/4 cups bread flour*
1 envelope quick-rising yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white (glaze)
Coarse salt (for sprinkling)
Combine flour, yeast, salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and water in large bowl (or stand mixer) and stir until dough comes together in a ball. Put on floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. Grease medium bowl. 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.
Flour baking sheet. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet, flattening each slightly. Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 4 rolls, X side up, and cook 30 seconds before flipping over and cooking for another 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.
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.
*I used all-purpose flour, and the flour police have yet to track me down.