Friday, October 8, 2010

The Power of Pretzel Rolls

If you had a time machine, would you want to stop by the mid-nineties? 

(What is she doing on the Who Wants to Be Millionaire set? Surely she doesn't need the money!)

Be assured that I was not singing this tune when I first made these chewy, salty dinner rolls, but regardless of any difference of opinion we may have vis à vis Céline Dion, you ought to reach for these at your Oktoberfest party.

If you want the quick-rising food processor version, visit the original recipe at It appeared in Bon Apétit in January of '94. I made them one day that winter, and my man's been pining for them ever since.* That's the power of pretzel rolls.

My bread-machine version appears below. With no egg or dairy in the dough, it is suitable for the timer. You may want to double the recipe.

Bread Machine Pretzel Rolls, modified from Bon Apétit

(Makes 8 large rolls)
Ingredient list A 
2 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seeds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons room temperature water

8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg white, beaten to blend
Coarse salt

Add ingredient list A to your bread machine according to manufacturer instructions, set for dough cycle (using the timer if you'd like), and press start. Once cycle is complete, empty dough onto a floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape into balls, flatten slightly, cut an 'X' in the top of each ball and allow to rest under plastic wrap as you take the next steps.

Be sure one of your oven racks is in the middle slot. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

(Ingredient list B) Grease or line a baking tray and sprinkle with cornmeal. In a large pan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add sugar and soda: the water will foam up. Drop rolls into boiling mixture, 4 rolls at a time, for 30 seconds per side. Transfer, cut side up, to prepared baking sheet.

(Ingredient list C) Brush each roll with egg white. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake at 375ºF for 25 minutes. Remove rolls and place on rack. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

*Whilst he languishes, he does not ever call me "his lady", which is good, because that would be a little less romantic and a little more Jerry Lewis.

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