bretzel rolls

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Weekends are made for surprise 30th birthday parties.

Shopping with moms.

Jazzercising with moms.

Wine drinking.

 Madmen watching with the cats.

Girl guide cookie eating.
Triple O sauce eating with moms and husbands.

Laundry overload.

Toe nail painting.

Bretzel roll baking.

These rolls. Oh my.

I've eluded to before that I'm kinda on a bread baking kick. I want to broaden my bread baking, so I've just been trying anything. Bretzel rolls are like a giant soft pretzel in roll form. Amazing. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, a nice coating of coarse salt on top. I want to dip these in mustard, but then I think it would be weird. I won't judge you if you do it.

Bretzel rolls
[ adapted from Bon Appetit via smitten kitchen ]

2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 envelope active dry yeast*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water, 125 - 130 degrees
cornmeal for dusting
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten
coarse salt

Combine bread flour, yeast, one teaspoon salt and sugar in food processor, blend to combine. While machine is running, pour hot water gradually through the feed tube, adding just enough that it will form a smooth dough. Run machine for 1 minute to knead. Coat medium bowl with olive oil, add dough and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, let rise in a warm draft-free area until double, about an hour.

Lightly flour a baking sheet, or a clear spot on the counter. Punch down dough and knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, form each piece into a ball, place on the baking sheet and flatten slightly. Using a serrated knife, cut an X on the tops of each roll. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle another baking sheet with cornmeal and set aside. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling add baking soda and 2 tablespoons of sugar, mixture will bubble up. Add four rolls and cook for 30 seconds, each side. Remove from pot using a slotted spoon and transfer rolls to cornmeal dusted baking sheet, X side up. Repeat until all rolls have been boiled.

Brush rolls with egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt. Be generous with the salt. Bake for 25 minutes or until rolls are brown. Transfer to racks and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.  These rolls are best the day they are made, they will be crunchy and fluffy. They will go soft the next day, but they are still extra delicious. Store any leftovers in an uncovered container to prevent wrinkly bun skin.

* one envelope = 2 1/4 teaspoons