Pinterest will be the death of me.
Every time I scroll through it, I end up salivating over something or the other. This time it was freshly puffed, deeply burnished pretzel rolls with specks of sea salt catching the light just right.
They were so stunning I had to find a recipe and make them there and then. And here we are – with two of the soft, chewy and fluffy resting in my belly as I write the blog.
My base recipe is from King Arthur Baking, which you can find here. I adapted it to my taste with few changes. And the pretzel rolls came out flawless.
They had a crispy top, cotton-soft interior and nicely chewy texture with just a hint of salt to round off their signature, cracker-like flavor.
How to Make Easy Pretzel Rolls?
Many people hear pretzel, and they automatically think, “Oh, I can’t make those!” Believe me; you can.
If I can make them, anyone can. The recipe only seems intimidating. If you follow the steps, it turns out to be very basic. With that in mind, let’s get rolling.
Get the dough ready.
Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, milk powder, yeast, and olive oil.
Using your hands and warm water, knead the dough for about 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll end up with a soft, smooth, and elastic dough.
How much water you use depends upon where you are. If it’s hot and humid, like here, you may need to reduce the quantity to get the quintessential slightly sticky dough.
Let the dough rise.
Grease a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover it and let it sit. In about an hour, it will double in volume.
Divide the dough.
Flour your prep area and transfer the dough to it. Punch it down gently to deflate. Then divide it into ten equal balls.
The trick is to roll the dough between your palms. When you feel the top getting round and firm, the ball is ready.
Making smooth, somewhat tight balls is necessary because it stops the rolls from becoming flat.
Put the balls on a parchment-lined tray. Cover them and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Get the water bath ready.
In the meanwhile, preheat your oven and take a large pot and fill it with water. Add salt and baking soda and bring it to boil.
Dip the balls into the baking soda bath 4-5 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Boil one side of the ball for 30 seconds. Turn it, boil the other side for 30 seconds, and then take it out.
Don’t fill the pot up to the brim. Baking soda causes vigorous boiling, and the water will overflow if it’s too full.
When you take the balls out of the baking soda bath, they’ll look wrinkly. Do not panic. That’s how it should be. They’ll rise magnificently after baking.
What’s the deal with the bath?
It’s the baking soda bath that gives pretzel rolls their signature look and iconic flavor.
If you skip this step, you won’t get that gorgeous golden, glossy hue or the crisp texture.
The bath makes the pretzel rolls crunchy on the outside and super soft on the inside. It also imparts them a distinctive flavor that you really can’t put into words until you taste them!
Bake the pretzel rolls.
Once the balls are dry, place them on a parchment-lined tray. Remember to grease the parchment, even though it’s non-stick. You can just simply use a tray, but do grease it well.
The soda bath releases starch, which makes the rolls sticky. If you don’t grease the parchment, the rolls will stick to it as they bake.
Make an X on top of the rolls using a sharp knife. The scoring allows the rolls to expand as they bake, which ensures even the deepest center is cooked thoroughly.
Dust the top with sea salt and then let the oven do its thing!
Serve the easy pretzel rolls.
In about 20 minutes, you have beautifully baked pretzel rolls.
Typically, the rolls have deep mahogany-like color. Mine had a more maple-like hue, a softer golden yellow, but they were impeccably burnished.
I served them with a creamy egg salad for dinner, at least those I hid from the family. The kids and the husband were utterly content in inhaling them warm as is or slathered with butter.
Vegan pretzel rolls
To make the pretzel rolls completely vegan, simply use powdered plant-based milk like coconut milk powder.
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Easy Pretzel Rolls
- 3 cups All purpose flour
- 1.5 cups Wholewheat flour
- 1/4 cup Milk powder
- 2 tsp Dried active yeast
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Warm water You may need another 1/4 cup or so
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 ltrs Water
- 1/4 cup Baking soda
- 1 tbsp Salt
- Sea salt
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, milk powder, yeast, and salt.
- Stir in the warm water and olive oil.
- Mix well and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. You can use a stand mixer too.
- You should get a soft, and smooth dough that's just a tad tacky.
- You may need to add the extra water if your dough seems dryish.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel. Let the dough rest for an hour or until it doubles in size.
- Gently deflate the risen dough and divide into 10 equal – sized balls.
- Cover them and let the rest for 15 minutes, on a greased or parchment lined tray. Please lightly grease the parchment too.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the water bath and preheat your oven to 200C.
- Bring the water, baking soda and salt to a rolling boil.
- Gently drop 4-5 balls at a time in the boiling water.
- Cook for 30 seconds, flip and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Remove from the water using a slotted spoon.
- Repeat this with all the remaining balls.
- Make a cross on top of the balls using a sharp knife. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20 -25 minutes. Or until they are deep golden brown.
- Mine got done in 20 minutes.
- Place the pretzel rolls on a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy warm as is or with butter!