Pretzel Rolls

makes 8

3 cups bread flour

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups of hot water (125ºF to 130ºF)

8 cups water

1/4 cup baking soda

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Coarse salt (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar.  With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the water and mix until the dough comes together.  Reduce the speed to medium and knead until smooth and elastic.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball.  Lightly grease a large bowl (or just use the same mixing bowl) and place the dough in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap; let the dough rise in a draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35-45 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Gently de-gas the dough.  Evenly divide into 8 pieces.  Form each dough piece into a ball.  Place the balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, flattening each piece slightly.  Cover with a lightly damp towel and allow the balls to rise until almost doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.  Add the baking soda and 2 tablespoons of sugar (water will foam).  Add 3 to 4 rolls at a time and cook 30 seconds per side.  Using a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon, return rolls to the baking sheet, nice side up.  Repeat with remaining rolls.

Brush rolls with the egg white and sprinkle with the salt if using.  Using a sharp knife, make 2-3 slashes on top of each dough ball.   Bake until browned, about 25-30 minutes.  Transfer rolls to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Serve rolls warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

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