Pretzel Rolls

Oh the smell, the feel, the taste, a full pretzel experience to wrap around a sandwich

Soft pretzels, a little sweet, very chewy, and the ultimate sandwich bun. I'm not going to pretend these are a walk in the park. I made them 3 times before I was confident enough to pass this recipe along. Yeasted dough take time to rise, and in addition this dough is shaped and boiled before its baked. Awesome at cookout, but watch out for a hot oven on a hot summer day.

Pretzel Sandwich Rolls

1 1/3 cups warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup room temp buttermilk
1 tblsp brown sugar
3 tblsp vegetable oil, divided, more for greasing bowls and pans
4 cups bread flour, more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp sea salt
sea salt or pretzel salt sprinkling
2 qts water
1/2 cup baking soda
2 tsp salt
sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

In a small ball add yeast and water. Wait 5 minutes for the yeast to become foamy and rise. This is called proofing the yeast. It provides proof that your bread will rise all your work won't be for naught. If you yeast does not foam, then your water is either too hot or your yeast is expired.

Yeast and water after 5 seconds

Yeast and water after 5 minutes

Add yeast to the bowl of a food processor along with buttermilk, sugar and 2 tblsp . oil. Pulse to combine. Add 1 cup of flour and salt, pulse to mix. Add another cup of flour and process for 45 seconds. Add 3rd cup of flour and process for 45 seconds. Add the final cup of flour and pulse until combine forming dough, 30 seconds to a minute. Turn dough into a greased ceramic or glass bowl. It should be sticky and hard to manage. Cover and let rise for 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Rounded knots and circle pretzel roll shapes
note: there should be flour on this board and because there wasn't they stuck like
crazy to the board. I mess up the shape getting them into the water. Use flour!

Clean your work surface well and cover with flour. I like to keep a pile of flour in the corner of my board just in case things get too sticky. Remove dough from fridge and roll in flour. Cut into 12 even pieces with a knife or my favorite baking tool, a dough scrapper. Now its time to shape your pretzels. You can go one of 2 routes. Round circles, pretty simple to shape. Rounded knots aren't much harder. With floured hands, roll piece into 8 inch logs. After the pieces have rested for about a minute stretch and form a loop. Pull one end threw the loop while wrapping the free end around the outside and under. Let formed dough rest on floured surface for 30-45 minutes until puffy.

Meanwhile bring 2 qts of water to a boil with baking soda (gives it the pretzel flavor we are all familiar with), salt, and remaining 1 tblsp of vegetable oil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets with oil. After rolls have become puffy, like the dough boy, move from board with a spatula and drop, 2 at a time, into the boiling baking soda water. Boil 15 seconds per side. Drain and slide onto baking sheets. Brush with oil, sprinkle with salt, and sesame seeds. Place sheets staggered on oven racks (e.g. top-left, one bottom-right). Bake for 10-12 minutes until a deep brown color. Cool on trays for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack.

Like most bread these puppies are amazing hot out of the oven. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days, if they even last that long. Load them up with burgers, brats, sauerkraut, mustard, or fresh grilled veggies.


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