Friday, July 5, 2013

make it yourself: soft pretzel rolls

I sort of have an obsession with soft pretzel rolls. Growing up my family would often eat soft pretzels as a snack, and having always been someone who liked salty foods more than sweet, pretzels are a favorite of mine. Whole Foods' Bakery carries soft pretzel rolls and I usually have at least one weekly. Also, they've become my favorite pre-race/run carb. So I got to thinking - I should really make these myself.

Having the day off of work on July 4, I decided to have a go at a recipe I found online. I have always used this recipe for soft pretzel bites, and thought I'd give a different one a try that was specifically for rolls, in case the ratios needed to be different for rolls.

The rolls are just bread flour, yeast, water, sugar and salt. The oil is used to line the bowl where the dough rises, and the baking soda is for the boiling bath that the rolls get before baking. 

First, get the water up to temp and add yeast. Pro tip. USE NEW YEAST. I used not quite expired but relatively old yeast. Why? Because I was too lazy to change out of my pajamas and leave the house. USE NEW YEAST.

Prepare the dry ingredients - bread flour, sugar and salt. 

Add dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix using the dough hook attachment.

About 6 minutes later, you have this monstrosity. So far, so good, right?

Pull the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, lightly rolling the ball so the oil coats the dough.

Cover and let it sit for 30-35 minutes. Theoretically, it should double in size. If you use old yeast, it gets bigger, but doesn't impress anyone. (USE NEW YEAST.)

After your dough rises (or fails to rise, as the case may be), cut it into pieces and shape them into oblong rolls. Put them on a tray to rise (or fail to rise) again.

Meanwhile, get water boiling and add baking soda.

Drop the rolls in a few at a time and let them boil on both sides. Pull from the water and salt, putting them back on the tray to bake. At this point you should have 8 misshapen rolls on your tray. The yeast gave me one last gasp in the hot water before dying, so these plumped up to at least resemble rolls. If you are me, salt generously. 

Bake em for awhile, and they start to at least look like pretzels, lazy yeast and all.

Thankfully they taste okay and the inside texture is decent too and not like hockey pucks. So it seems that you CAN make pretzel rolls with lazy yeast, but I sure wouldn't if/when I make these again. They might even make interesting buns for burgers!


  1. They were pretty darned fantastic

  2. nevermind...derp...

    "Hey Joni - click on the recipe link! DUH!"

    sorry...long day... :)