Prep 2 hrs
Cook 15 mins
From a friend who recently traveled to Switzerland and returned with this recipe. She says this recipe is more authentic (i.e., Bavarian) and less "mall food court" than other recipes (all are good, but it's a matter of preference). I don't know whether to believe her - I haven't been to Switzerland to sample their goods, and I won't make this recipe until after I have posted it here. I like surprises.
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 1⁄2 cups warm water, 105 - 110 F
- 2 teaspoons honey (sugar, honey, or brown sugar, I recommend honey)
- 4 1⁄2 cups flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 quarts water
- 1⁄2 cup baking soda
- salt (Pretzel or Kosher salt for sprinkling)
- In a mixer bowl, add yeast and 1 1/2 cups warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes until it foams and smells yeasty.
- Add sweetener, flour, salt, and melted butter. Mix with the dough hook until it forms a dough ball, about a couple minutes.
- Cover and let rise about 1 hour. Punch down and turn ball on a lightly floured counter.
- Roll dough into a "rope" and cut into the approximate sizes you want your rolls - about 12-16 rolls is reasonable. Shape into rolls. You can try pulling the dough balls inside out and pinching the edges together on the bottom to form a nice rounded top and a flatish bottom. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be; they taste good even if they don't look perfect!
- Put the rolls on a parchment lined cookie sheet or two (they won't rise much more). Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 °F.
- Heat 2 quarts of water to boiling.
- When water is boiling and rolls have risen, slowly pour baking soda into the water. Be careful! If you pour too quickly, the pot may boil over. Baking soda is a fine powder, providing plenty of nucleation points for steam bubbles to form, and it releases some gas when it contacts the water, to boot.
- Use a slotted spoon or spatula to east the rolls into the baking soda bath and poach for about 30 seconds on each side (the more time they poach the crustier, browner, and more authentic they'll be -- the less time in the bath the more like mall pretzels they'll be -- both are good, it's up to you).
- Use slotted spoon to remove from bath and place back on cookie sheets.
- While still damp, sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt and score top with a knife in a plus (+) shape to allow the rolls to expand attractively while baking.
- Bake at 425 °F for about 15 minutes or until caramel brown. (More or less depending on your oven and personal preference). Rotate cookie sheets top to bottom and rear to front midway during baking, if you desire.
- Serving suggestions:.
- For breakfast: serve warm with Irish butter and strawberry preserves.
- For snack: smear with cheddar cheese spread
- For lunch/dinner: cut in half and top with thin sliced roast beef and smoked Gouda cheese; broil until cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Or just eat them plain!
Okay, the final product tastes exactly like a pretzel. I was surprised how soft the rolls were though. I thought it would be more like a bagel (with the boil) but mine came out more like the texture of soft dinner rolls. I ended up splitting and toasting them for sandwiches.
I wouldn't recommend boiling/poaching them for more than 30 seconds each side. I did around a minute a side and the result was very messy and too acidic. The longer the boil, the more the baking soda water can soak into the rolls.
I did a fancy twist with my rolls and regretted it. Keep it a round shape so that there isn't a place for the baking soda bath to "settle" into. Once mine were done baking, I had several that I had to throw out because the divots of the twist were saturated with the baking soda bath and it made my eyes water when biting into them.
The metod seemed wrong, but I followed it step by step and the end product was amazing. Stick with the recipe and it will turn out wonderfully. Thanks for sharing.
Excellent recipe!! At first, it looked a little involved but these were a cinch to throw together; no kneading, how great is that?! These came out perfect - doughy, chewy, slightly acidic due to poaching in the baking soda bath. These were out of sight paired with my homemade margarita mix jelly. A !