More Better Pretzel Rolls

20PretzelRollsBakedbfLOSo, yeh; I have made pretzel rolls before, and they were pretty good, but it seemed as though every time I made them, half wouldn’t be cooked all the way through when they came out of the oven, and then there was that MESS when I added the baking soda to the boiling water.

Too much trouble.

Then, I saw Jeff Mauro make these little beauties and resolved to try again. And I solved that baking soda mess, too. Bonus!

•1 cup milk
•1/4 cup light brown sugar
•2 tablespoons honey
•1 packet (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
•2 tablespoons unsalted butter
•2 small cloves garlic, grated
•3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for dusting
05YeastReadybfLO•1 cup bread flour – I used whole wheat flour
•1/2 cup baking soda
•Coarse ground sea salt

Stir together the the milk, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar and honey and heat to 105º to 110º. You can do this in a small pan on top of the stove, or in the ‘wave – 1 minute 03ButterGarlicPanbfLOshould do it – just add a wooden skewer to the milk to keep it from super-heating. And yes, my liquid read 114º, but I let it sit for a bit, and then poured it into a large, stainless steel mixing bowl, so the temperature worked out just about right.

Add to the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over, and wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast blooms – everything will get all thick and bubbly.

While you’re waiting for the yeast to bloom, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or so – just until the garlic is nicely fragrant. Set aside to cool a bit.

09PRDoughMixerDonebfLOOK! Yeast has bloomed, garlic is fragrant, let us continue.

Whisk together the all-purpose and the bread (or whole wheat flour) and add to the yeast in the mixing bowl.

Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.

12PRDoughEightsbfLODrizzle the cooled garlic and butter mixture over all and mix, using the dough hook, on medium speed until the dough comes together – pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl – and is smooth and elastic; about 7 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Cut into 8 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a ball and place on one of the parchment lined baking pans.

Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm space to rest for 15 minutes. Since I was using whole wheat in place of  the bread flour, I let mine rest for 25 minutes.

15PRShapedRisenbfLOLightly dust your board again, roll the dough balls into 7-inch logs, and place on the other parchment lined baking pan.

Cover, place back in that warm spot, and let rest for an additional 30 minutes. – again, since I hadn’t used bread flour, I let mine rest for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425º, with one oven rack set high and one low.Line 2 more baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

17PRBoilingNicebfLOIn a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil, and then add the baking soda by tablespoonfulls, letting the foam die down a bit before adding more.

Place two of the dough rolls in the prepared water at a time and cook for 30 seconds on each side.

19PretzelRollsBakingbfLORemove the boiled rolls with a slotted spatula or (more better) a spider, and place onto the fresh baking sheets, sprinkling the rolls with coarse salt as they come out of the water, to ensure the salt sticks.

Cut 3 shallow diagonal slits on top of each roll, and repeat with the remaining pieces.

Place the two pans in the oven, one on the high rack and one on the low, and bake for 10 to 13 minutes, rotating the pans after 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven and enjoy with your filling of choice. We had ours, lightly toasted, with some very nice hot dogs and were well pleased. Next time, I plan on leaving the rolls shaped as rolls, cutting a shallow “x” in the top, and using them for burgers.

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