Because bread is just better when it's pretzeled, right? A few days ago I was craving burgers, and having a full afternoon in front of me with no urgent plans, I decided to make my own pretzel rolls for the burgers. Best decision ever! These rolls are soft yet sturdy, just slightly crisp on the outside, and the perfect bun for any kind of burger or sandwich!
I have to confess, this was another of those recipes (like the aebelskivers of yore) that made me all kinds of frustrated during the process of making them, but the end result turned out so good that I have determined them to be blog-worthy. The problem is that after the dough rises, it's really hard to pick the dough up off the counter without collapsing it. So what goes into the boiling water is kind of a smushed up hot mess. However, the rolls come out of the oven plump and round and perfect, so there's no harm done. I would recommend putting them on a greased surface to rise and being as gentle as you can, but don't stress if they're imperfect! They'll be delicious either way. :)
Soft Pretzel Rolls
1/2 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup warm milk
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 - 4 cups flour
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup baking soda
coarse salt for sprinkling
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the yeast, oil, milk, and water. Let sit about five minutes, until the yeast is starting to bubble. Mix in the salt and 2 cups of the flour. Add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms that does not stick to your finger when lightly tapped. Cover and let rise one hour, until doubled.
When the dough has risen, gently punch the dough down and divide into 12 equal sized pieces (mine were exactly 3 ounces each). Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place on a greased cookie sheet or greased countertop to rise. Cover and let rise one hour.
When the dough has nearly finished rising, preheat the oven to 425. Heat the water, sugar, and soda to boiling in a large pot. Add the pieces of dough to the pot, 2-3 at a time, and boil 1-2 minutes on each side. Place the boiled pieces of dough on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Make 2 gashes on the top of each piece of dough with a sharp knife. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe