Thursday, August 5, 2010

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Hi everyone! Be sure to check out my giveaway post from yesterday. You won't want to miss it! Anyway...

Oh how I used to hate going to the mall. No sale or bargain could entice me. I hated the crowds, trying on clothes I didn't care for and having to walk around for hours. We had a rule in my family during the busy Christmas season. My sister and I were each allowed to pick three stores to visit, and that was it. In my family, one has choose her stores wisely. I almost always picked the Disney Store, Limited Too and The Discovery Store. Very chic.

After my three choices, which always seemed to come and go a little faster than everyone else's, I had nothing left to look forward to. I pouted and dragged my multi-color Converse heels all over until we had to leave. Unless, that is, we happened to spot an Auntie Anne's Pretzel.

Auntie Anne's made the mall seem worthwhile. Once the excitement of Mickey Mouse had wore off, the scent of Auntie Anne's and the sight of the bakers rolling and shaping the dough was mesmerizing.

Please, please can I get one? I would beg. Finally, if only to shut me up, one of my parents would give in, hand the cashier some money and toss a soft pretzel in my face. With mustard, please! I'd pipe up. The spoiled little brat prevails!

It was many years later that I discovered something that blew my mind. Pretzels I could eat everyday. Soft ones. In sandwich roll form! Everytime I see the option of pretzel roll at a deli, I go for it. It was a mysterious thing to me. How did they make my beloved pretzels into cute three-bite rolls? Wegman's has them. WaWa and Sheetz both feature them...even the dining commons at Penn State had them.

How can I be the only one who doesn't believe this phenomenon can be achieved at home?

So I did a little research, and turns out, I can make them. Yes, me. I can add yeast, flour, butter and salt and let the magic happen! So I did, and in attempt to make hamburger buns, I set out to find a recipe.

The recipe I used called for 18 rolls, and I wish I had only made about 12. The good thing is smaller rolls, lower calories and more chances to eat them. The bad thing is smaller rolls, less girth to fit the planned hamburger dinner. So, these rolls, if made into 18, are great a big dinner salad, a bowl of soup, or topped with turkey. They also happen to taste fabulous warm with a bit of butter. Fabulous. So, I think you should try them!

Some of the process got a little tricky, but I hope you'll agree that they turned out pretty nice! And they tasted just like the perfect soft pretzels I remember.

What ya need
1.5 cups warm water (110°F... aka warm)
1 tbsp active dry yeast (1 package)
2 tsp sugar
4.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup baking soda
Large saucepan of water
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel salt or sea salt

What ya do:

1. Combine the water and the yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer and let rest 5 minutes until foamy. Add sugar, flour, salt, butter and mix with the dough hook until thoroughly combined, the dough comes together and is rather silky to the touch.It really is silky feeling, I promise! Not sticky
3. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. 4. Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

5. Cut the dough into 12 to 18 pieces, depending on how big. Mine were about  2 ounces each.
6. This is the tricky part. To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a nice round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. By doing this, you’re creating a smooth skin around the dough ball. 

See how it's pinched?? Do this.
 7. Place, pinched side down, on a counterand continue to roll dough ball in your hand until smooth.
8. Space evenly on the sheet pans cpvered in parchment paper, pinched seam side down. Make sure you give them room to grow even more.
No plastic wrap? Use ziploc bags and be ghetto like I am.

9. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled and preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.
10. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer.

11.Carefully slip the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid.Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a spider or slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down.
12. Repeat with the remaining rolls, leaving room between rolls for baking. 

13. With a pastry brush, glaze each roll completely with the lightly beaten egg making sure to coat all sides completely and top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt.
14. With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll. Place in oven  and bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking – top to bottom, front to back – for even browning.Cool completely and enjoy!

I learned these are the best on the day they are baked, but you can store them in a freezer if you wrap them tightly and reheat them in a damp paper towel.

Last but not least, the last guest post I will have for a bit. I recieved this little nugget of gold on my cell phone. If this doesn't inspire you to create high level culinary masterpieces, I'm not sure what will.

"Dear Messie Kitchen, I'm an avid reader of your blog and would love to be a guest picture in one of your posts. Love, Alex"

Wowwwww, I tell him. What do we have here? A charming chicken dinner. Tell me what you made!

Chicken. Barbecue Sauce. Bush's Baked Beans.

Ohhhhh, I coo. How tasty! I'd love to feature your work. And so, here he is, for his third debut, Alex, the boyfriend.


Christina said...

those look scrumptious! and they look like they're fun to make!

CC Recipe said...

They look awesome to me and I would devour them all!

Unknown said...

This make me want a pretzel cone with some scream.

The Cilantropist said...

Ahhhh I LOVE pretzels like this!!! I actually despise those "pretzels" that come in a bag like potato chips, but these that are the real deal are probably in my top 10 foods. I tried them for the first time in Germany and couldn't get enough of them, esp when they are freshly baked. :)

Raquel said...

I wil DEFINITELY be trying these!

Lauren said...

oh my gosh. YUM. I'm like you, the pretzels reel me into the mall too. I just had one last night, covered in butter and cinnamon and sugar. It was straight out of the oven and so hot and crispy! anyways, these look so good because the tops look crispy and the inside looks chewy. I'm adding this to my list! thanks!

Evan @swEEts said...

Yum! I have a soft pretzel recipe sitting in my recipe window on my counter right now just begging to be made.. these rolls looks awesome! Oh and by the way, I totally loved the Disney Store and Limited Too back in the day.. I was so into Tigger and defnitely rocked plaid skirts with knee highs!

Dana said...

These rolls look so yummy! I am a pretzel fiend... Thanks so much for sharing!

Unknown said...

Ok, this recipe has been copied and will be used soon. I saw a post somewhere long ago with a restaurant review and they had these. I was curious then and hoped someday I'd see a recipe. Yours look awesome so I can't wait to try. Thanks!

Magic of Spice said...

Those are soft pretzels:)

Jason Phelps said...

Not the biggest fan of these, but I just had one from the Swiss baker at the Dewey Square Farm Market in Boston a few weeks back. Pretty good! Your version looks a lot better and I am sure would be quite tasty right from the oven!