I have always been hesitant to dabble my hands in bread recipes because of a nagging fear that I will somehow murder yeast as they are so temperature sensitive. However, I have a living bread monster (Pat) in the house and I cannot keep running to the grocery store to buy fresh bread.
So one day, I did the unthinkable and came home from grocery shopping without a single sandwich roll. I had to make something or waste another 45 mins journey to the grocery store and I remembered about this! I have to say that I cannot be more proud of myself making this.
Pat didn’t believe that I made this when he came home and insist that I had bought them. So, I made this on another occasion just to prove to him never to doubt the chef!
It has a lot of steps but your patience and hard work pays off at the end.
Pretzel Dinner Rolls
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (43-48C/110-120F is a pretty safe temperature window)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast (That’s 2 1/4 tsp)
- 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 12 cups water
- slightly more than 1/2 cup baking soda
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should look poofy and resemble the texture of a brain. If it doesn’t, it means your yeast is old or you murdered them 😦
- Sieve the bread flour into another ball and combine in the salt
- Mix in the dry goods slowly to wet goods on low speed.
- Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
- Oil a bowl with canola, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven @ 425F or 220C
- Bring water to boil in a large pot. Carefully add in baking soda.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (weigh it!) and roll each into a ball. Place each piece onto the parchment-lined sheet pans (4 to a pan).
- Boil the rolls in the water/baking soda for 30 seconds each, moving around and splashing up onto the tops of the rolls. ( A sieve ladle works best here and the timing is crucial so one bun will not be super tan than the other)
- Remove from the solution and place back onto the baking sheets.
- Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the buns liberally
- Use a paring knife to score a ‘X’ over the top of the bun.
- Bake the rolls, 1 rack at a time, for 15 mins. Turn your pan halfway through. Watch really close towards the end so that you can take it out when it is baked at your desired brownness.
- Let it cool before serving it along with dinner or as a sandwich bun.
Note: I reduced the amount of baking soda required for boiling because I find that the original amount leaves too strong of a taste. The original recipe calls for 3/4cup and man I felt like I was eating bread made of soap. 1/2cup worked better and I still get the brownness on the buns.
Also, if you don’t have a instant read thermometer, please invest in one! You can use it to measure your water for yeast and tell how done is your steak too (the secret to cooking your steak perfect every time, no matter the size!)
Recipe by Bakeyourday