Somehow I got introduced to Pinterest and though I am not addicted to it like some people apparently are, I feel compelled to click on the weekly e-mail from Pinterest showing me “pins you’ll love”. And boy, do they ever get it right! So, I see this picture of a batch of pretzel rolls and they look ever so yummy and beautiful and so very German. Of course, Bretzel (as they are called in German) are a specialty to the south of the country which is where I am from.
I haven’t done a lot of baking lately, mainly because I am temporarily living with a person with OCD (and no, it is not my husband) and he freaks whenever there is so much as a speck of dirt on the countertop or heaven forbid, a dish in the sink. As my friends can testify, I can make quite a mess when I am being creative and so living with this person has put a damper on my creativity on many levels. In any case, OCD person was gone for the weekend and my kids were going to come over for Sunday dinner and so I happily threw myself into the project of making these scrumptious looking pretzel rolls.
I started in the morning before church. We were only going to 1 hour of service and we we live practically next to the church house and so I felt it would be ok to let the dough rise while we were gone. It called for a 1 hour rising time. This was my dough upon departure:
This was my dough after we returned from church an hour and forty-five minutes later. Looks like we came home just in time to avert dough disaster! It appears my dough didn’t take kindly to being left unattended 45 minutes longer than prescribed in the receipe.
Dough trying to escape
I reigned in the dough and cut him (in German the dough is always male) in many pieces and shaped the pieces into something resembling an oval roll and then, remembering the bakers from my last trip to Germany even attempted a Bretzel shape.
The shaped rolls
More shaped rolls
So, while the rolls are patiently sitting on the parchment lined (semolina covered) baking sheet I start up the oven and put on a pot of water with salt and baking soda. I really should have done this already before I started shaping the rolls, but I was so excited about the beautiful consistency of the dough and I just wanted to get my hands on him. This gave the rolls a little bit of extra rising time, which in the end did not turn out to be a bad thing. Once the water was at a rolling boil, I gently lifted the rolls off the baking sheet and gently dropped them into the boiling water, one by one. I was able to fit four pieces in the pot. 30 seconds on one side, then carefully turn them over. It is important to turn them over, so they will get the beautiful brownish red color all over.
Rolls taking a bath
Bretzel taking a bath
If I was a Bretzel I would refuse to take a bath in boiling water. I would leave that to the lobsters. See, how nice and puffy the Bretzel got? I wasn’t sure if the rolls needed to be turned over in the water, so I did an experiment. And let me tell you, you must turn them over. You simply must. Not only will they not get that nice reddish brown color but it also changes the texture of the crust.
And here are my babies on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet, all dried off and ready to take on the 400 degree oven.
Ready to face the heat
Before they went into the oven, the rolls had to be slashed. Being a baker is a violent business, if you think about it. I used a wooden skewer onto which I slid a razor blade and for my “lame”. Julio was already standing at attention with his pink Himalyan salt but I hadn’t finished the slashing. So he went to sit down at the computer.
In the oven
As soon as I closed the oven door and after struggling to slide the rolls including the parchment paper on to the baking stone, I realized that I had forgotten one very important thing: The salt! And of course, I can’t possibly take the rolls back out without serious damage to them, so what is to be done? Julio came to the rescue by grinding some pink Himalyan salt into his hands, then yelling at me to open the oven door and once I did so he thrust a handful of salt into the oven. We could only pray that the salt reached its intended targets. Mostly he salted the oven floor,though.
Voila! After 30 minutes they look like they got sunburnt. Nice and reddish. And see,how there is a difference in color on the rolls not turned. Told you!
Coming out of the oven
Aren’t they scrumptious looking?
And finally the warm rolls in all their glory in a basket ready to face judgement by the kids. Quote by son: “They are delish!”
Pretzel rolls ready to be devoured!
If you want to bask in the glory of these easy to make pretzel rolls, go to this link for the receipe: http://une-bonne-vie.blogspot.com/2010/08/pretzel-rolls.html