Food Friday- Pretzel Rolls for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all got to enjoy some stuffing, turkey and tons of pies and other greatness. This year, B and I got tasked with bringing rolls to Thanksgiving. Again! As you’ll remember, the last time we spent Thanksgiving with his family we were told to bring bread …. We made beer rolls, from bisquick, cheese and beer. My, how far we’ve come.

This year, we made pretzel and herb rolls – from scratch! (Yes, that means no bisquick) They came out AWESOME, especially the pretzel rolls – which is why I’m going to share the recipe with you! I used a combination of Alton Brown’s recipe, this recipe and this one to create a very easy pretzel roll recipe. There are just five things you need to do: make the dough, shape the rolls, poach the dough, glaze them and bake ‘em!

To make the dough:

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (not too hot, but warm to the touch)
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast (1 package) – not quick rise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the poaching & glazing:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • large saucepan of water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a drop of water
  • pretzel salt  or kosher salt

First, make the dough!

Mix water and yeast in a bowl with a whisk. Let stand a few minutes until it foams up.

Add sugar, flour, melted butter and salt to water and yeast mixture. Combine until well-mixed. I used a whisk and mixing spoon to combine everything together – but if are lucky enough to have a standing mixer with a dough hook, it will take you half the time and a lot less man power!

Put the dough in a bowl that has about a tbs of olive oil spread out over the bottom – just enough to keep it from sticking. Cover the dough in a bowl with a clean towel for one hour while it rises. You’ll want to put it in a warm place (aka not the fridge) to help  it rise – I put mine in the oven (NOT turned on!)

After an hour or it’s risen to about double the size, punch it down to remove excess air.

Then, shape the dough into rolls.

Stretch the dough out into a large baguette-like shape. Cut the dough into 18-20 pieces, about 2 inches thick. Feel free to go larger if you want to use the rolls for sandwiches or anything more substantial – but remember you’ll have to poach them so make sure they’ll fit in your pan.

Shape the pieces of dough into small smooth balls. To do so, pinch the corners (from when you cut them) and pull them together in the center of the bread. Feel free to roll the bread between your hands to make a tight, smooth ball. I made them into smooth ovals.

Space evenly on the prepared sheet pans, pinched seam side down, leaving at least 1” between each roll.

Then poach the rolls.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil.

Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer.

Carefully slip the rolls into the boiling baking soda and water. Keep them in there for about a minute, making sure both sides are evenly poached. After a minute, remove rolls onto prepared sheet pans (I put parchment paper on mine but you can use a sheet with cooking spray or greased foil), pinched side down.  You’ll probably have to do this process a few times, depending on how many rolls you’re making and how big a saucepan you have.

Glaze and mark the rolls.

With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash on the top of each roll.

Lightly beat one egg and add a few drops of water. Use a brush to coat each roll with the lightly beaten egg.

Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt or kosher salt. I used kosher salt.

Bake the rolls.

Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. When they’re dark brown and shiny- they’re done! Cool completely and enjoy : )

Did you try a new recipe this Thanksgiving? Was it an instant hit? Do share!