Pretzel Rolls

     1 3/4 cups warm water
     2 tablespoons unsalted butter
     3/4 teaspoon salt
     4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
     1/4 cut nonfat dry milk
     2 teaspoons instant yeast
     coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
Water Bath
     2 quarts water
     1 tablespoon salt
     1/4 cup baking soda


Mix and knead the dough ingredients - by hand, mixer or bread machine - to make a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Allow the dough to rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for about one hour, until doubled. Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface. With lightly greased hands, divide the dough into 8 pieces for sandwich rolls or 12 pieces for dinner rolls and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a lightly greased piece of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Prepare the water bath: Bring the water, salt and baking soda to a boil in a large pot. Drop 3 dough balls at a time into the water bath. Cook for 30 seconds, flip over and cook for 30 seconds longer.

Using a slotted spoon, return the rolls to the baking sheet. Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut 1/2" deep crosses into the center of each roll. Sprinkle with the coarse salt.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until the rolls are a deep, dark brown. Cover loosely with foil after 10 minutes if necessary so they don't get too brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.


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