One of my cooking resolutions for 2008 is to cook with yeast. And I mean to actually do it myself, from start to finish, not just have the bread machine do all the work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like the ease of the bread machine but there are some things I feel are more conducive to traditional breadmaking and, in general, I think you feel a much greater sense of accomplishment after you first successful foray into yeast.
Today wasn’t the day for that foray, but it’s something a little closer. Baby steps, right? Today I decided to make rolls, which meant I used the bread machine for the initial kneading/rise but then had to shape the dough and let it rise again myself. The shape of these certainly didn’t turn out perfectly but considering this was my first time working with a yeast dough, I think they turned out really well.
I had a craving for pretzel rolls, so I decided to go that route rather than traditional dinner rolls. I first checked out the recipe for pretzels in the manual/recipe book that came with my Cuisinart bread machine, and then l checked out other pretzel recipes for ratio purposes, and came up with what is below. These turned out really tasty and soft. Cutting the dough into 8 equal parts would be great for dinner roll sized pieces, or your normal twisted soft pretzels. I cut the dough in 6 pieces and they were just a little too small for the sandwiches I made later on…though they still worked. If you want to use these for sandwiches, I’d recommend either doing 4 hoagie-type shapes, or just go with the 6 but make them a little longer and not as round/high as I made mine.
These can definitely be adapted to the traditional way of making yeast breads.
3/4 cup warm (80-90 degree) water
1 tsp. salt
2.5 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. butter, melted
2.25 cups + 1 Tbsp. bread flour
2 tsp. bread machine or active dry yeast.
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. baking soda
1 egg white
kosher or coarse sea salt for topping
Place the 3/4 c. water, salt, brown sugar, butter, flour and yeast into your bread machine pan fitted with the paddle, in that order (or in the order specified by your particular bread machine). Select the dough/pizza dough cycle and the small size loaf (1 lb.). Press start to mix, knead and rise.
When the cycle is completed, remove the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes. Divide the dough into equal pieces and shape them how you like. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Cover them with a lightly oiled sheet of plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425. Bring the 2 cups of water to a light rolling bowl on the stovetop. Stir in the baking soda. Carefully slide the pretzels/rolls one at a time. Leave the roll there about 45 seconds before flipping and boiling for 45 seconds on the other side. Pick them up with a slotted spatula and let the water drain that way or put them on a cooling rack.
After you have done that with all the rolls, place them on a parchment/silpat lined cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg white and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Bake them for about 12-15 minutes or until they have turned golden brown.