Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pretzel Rolls - Surprises and Prizes!

These rolls are gorgeous.....very impressive......and really not difficult to make (don't let the length of the recipe put you off!) They're also prize-winning........

I'm sort-of a baking contest addict.......I love entering the county fair, or other local baking competitions. If you read my post re: the Apple Almond Coffee Ring, you know that that was a big win for me and it came at a very difficult point in my life. Ahhh, don't things seem to happen that way? This recipe, too, was another big, surprise win for me. The summer had been a tumultuous one - my father had had a stroke and was in rehabilitation in a nearby town for months. To cheer him, I visited daily, which was not an easy task when you're trying to get a business off the ground, too. I longed for some sense of normalcy...and so I baked! I entered some general categories in the county fair, not quite knowing what recipes I'd use. The morning the entries were due, I decided to enter these tasty rolls. I dropped off them off, along with a few other entries, later that morning and then headed over to see Dad. We didn't have plans to visit the fair until the weekend, so I didn't anticipate hearing how everything did until we got there. However, the next day, after returning home from another visit to Dad, I noticed a message on our answering machine...... "Hello? Have I reached the home of the big winner? Congrats, Ginny! Everything looks wonderful! Love you!"........WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? I was absolutely crazy to be sure I was understanding the message correctly. I tried desperately to get in touch with my friend, but couldn't.....and it was making me nuts! Eventually, she got back with me and confirmed my hopes - Best of Show in Breads!!! What a blessing that was - it came at a time when my spirits needed a little lift.....and for that, I was grateful.

Your guests will be extremely grateful if you make them these rolls!!

Pretzel Rolls 

Yield: 12

1 ½ cup warm water (110°F)
1 package Red Star Platinum yeast 
2 teaspoons sugar
4-½ cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel Salt, for sprinkling

In your EZ DOH bucket, or bowl of your mixer, add the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 3-5 minutes until foamy.Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and mix with EZ DOH or dough hook of mixer until combined well. Cover with a plastic wrap (or a towel) and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured clean surface.

Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Divide the dough into 12 (or more) equal pieces (You may make larger or smaller rolls, according to your preference). To shape the dough take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes – they should be “puffy”.

Preheat oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda, stir until dissolved, and then place back on heat and lower to a simmer.

Place the rolls (2-3 at a time) into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat the roll completely & then sprinkle each with a little pretzel salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, slash the top of the roll twice. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Best served warm!


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