Bread is sort of my nemesis.
It’s so light, fluffy, and magical that I’m powerless to resist.
There is a certain way I make bread for dinner every few weeks and it includes an entire stick of butter to get it tasting just right. A whole stick!
I also sometimes make this outrageous garlic bread (excuse the photos – the bread is still delicious even if I didn’t know what the heck I was doing with a camera!) that blows my mind every time I take a bite. It’s so creamy and flavorful.
And then I make these. Pretzel rolls. They are absolutely perfect with a hot bowl of soup. Even better with this Corn and Chicken Chowder.
Oh, and sometimes? I stuff these pretzel rolls with cheese. Because I can. Nobody can stop me. Don’t even try. The cheese sorta explodes and hollows out the middle of the roll. It’s not super pretty but it is super delicious, so who cares? If you skip the cheese, these will be thick and chewy all the way through.
Pretzel rolls. Do I really even need to go on? They’re so chewy and the salt sprinkled on the outside makes me cry a little on the inside. The good cry. Until my pants stop zipping and then I switch over to the bad cry.
1 cup warm milk, at least 120 degrees
1 teaspoon quick-rising yeast, about half a packet
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
10 - 15 small cheese cubes, optional
1 tablespoon water
kosher salt, for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking soda
Add the milk, yeast and brown sugar into bowl of your stand mixer. Stir with your clean fingers until the sugar and yeast has dissolved. Let the mixture rest for 1 minute.
Using the dough hook, turn the mixer to low and slowly add two cups of flour to the wet ingredients.
Next add the salt.
Slowly add the remaining flour until the dough has become smooth, the flour is incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides. You may need to adjust the milk or flour to get the right consistency.
Slowly increase the speed of the mixer until you reach the high setting. Continue to knead the dough in the mixer on this speed for approximately five minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place - I usually place rising bread in my oven, but be sure the oven is turned off! Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the baking soda.
Lightly beat the egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Set aside.
Dump the dough on to your floured work surface and lightly pat it into the shape of a square. It should measure about 9” x 9” and be almost ¾” thick. Cut the dough into about 10 – 15 squares. If adding cheese, place a small cube of cheese in the center of each square and then shape the dough into a ball around the cheese. If you are not filling with cheese, just shape the dough into balls.
Cut a small “X” on the top of each ball.
Slowly drop the balls into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Make sure the “X” is facing up.
Brush the top of each ball with the egg mixture and sprinkle kosher salt over them.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. The baking time varies based on the size of the dough balls and the length of the boiling time. The tops will be golden brown and the interior will be chewy.
recipe very lightly adapted from Culinary Cory