Monday, January 6, 2014

Pretzel Roll Recipe (I Practiced Baking - Alot)

November and December flew past.

There were two craft fairs, an ambitious kindergarten wide art project and a Christmas show that needed a back drop. After these I scrambled to finish a few handmade gifts....  all of which were (or are) admittedly late. There was a lacy pair of knitted socks for my mom, a pair of legwarmers for Ivory I finished last night and sent her to school in this morning and a pair of socks for Adam that are at this moment only a few rows on a set of double pointed needles.  (More on all these projects coming soon.)

Through it all I have been on a mission: to bake a  pretzel roll.


The Lowell PTA was having a bake sale and I wanted to contribute something savory.

Sylvan and I practiced.

Sylvan, his little friends, and I practiced.

We tried all white flour and partially whole wheat pretzel rolls. (See the difference in the picture above?)  Rolls without butter and milk.  Rolls with butter and milk.  Rolls with pink Himalayan salt. Rolls with sea salt flakes.  Rolls baked for 30 minutes (too long) and rolls baked for 20 minutes and rotated once at 10 minutes (just right).  How to store them? Plastic bag? Paper bag?

The morning before the bake sale I carried a paper bag, (they definitely need to be stored in paper bags) filled with 60 pretzel rolls to Ivory's school.  They were all gone by the end of the sale.

And we kept baking.

We baked for our friends and neighbors.

We baked Pretzel Bagels for visiting family.

A fresh baked batch took an airplane ride to Oklahoma.

This is a recipe I will keep baking for the rest of the year.

I started with this recipe.

When I pulled the results out of the oven, I kicked myself.  I knew better than to let these bake for 30 minutes.  They were definitely over done, but not quite burned and wait? no salt in the dough?  too sweet?

After many,  many batches this these are the tweaks I have made to the recipe:

Pretzel Roll

1 1/3 Cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit)
add milk to make it 1 1/2 Cups liquid
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 Teaspoons yeast
1/4 Cup unrefined sugar
1 Teaspoon salt 
4 1/2 Cups flour  (or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups white flour) 

2 Quarts of water
1/2 Cup baking soda

Maldon sea salt flakes
  • combine the water, milk, butter, sugar, salt and yeast 
  • add flour (stir it in and then knead in the remainder until the dough is stretchy and not sticky), if you are using a mixer and dough hook, stir and add flour until it forms until a ball that doesn't stick to the sides.  I often finish adding the last little bit of flour by hand even if I started out using a mixer. 
  • let the dough sit 10 minutes
  • divide the dough into quarters and quarters again for a total of 16 pieces of dough
  • roll the dough into balls and dust with flour
  • let the dough rise 30 minutes
  • put water and baking soda into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil
  • drop 4 rolls at a time into boiling water, flip rolls once, 20 ish seconds on each side for a total of 40 seconds 
  • place on a kitchen towel to drain
  • repeat until all rolls are done
  • cut a cross on the top of each roll, sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes and press slightly
  • transfere to two buttered cookie sheets 
  • bake at 375 to 400 for 20 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets once after 10 minutes for eaven browning  (I thought I was cooking these at 425, but after getting an oven thermometer for Christmas I have discovered that my oven bakes much lower than the set temperature.) 
  • cool a few minutes before eating
  • store in a paper bag
  • best if reheated if not eaten fresh 
Alterations - Vegan Option

use 1 1/2 cups water and substitute oil for butter 
The result is slightly drier pretzel roll, although this is more apparent after they are stored for a day or two, not if eaten fresh.

Note on Multiple Batches - I usually make two batches in close succession, rather than doubling the recipe, since two cookie trays is all that fits in my oven...  I use the baking soda water for two batches and then change it if making more. 

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