Happy Thursday! Jess here and oh boy do I have something delicious for this week’s edition of The Perfect Bite! Football season has officially arrived and (even though my football knowledge doesn’t go beyond uniform designs) to me, this time of year calls for fall flavors. My favorites include sweet kettle corn, hot roasted peanuts in paper sacks, and of course, chewy & salty pretzels. While traditional pretzels are great for the sidelines,these pretzel rolls are perfect eaten plain with an ice cold beer, beside a warm bowl of soup, with man-friendly dip for game-time (try this spicy chicken buffalo dip) or sliced in half to make extra-special sammies. I found this amazing recipe on Piece of Cake, and was thrilled when mine turned out as mouthwateringly perfect as I’d hoped. Follow the jump for all the deets on making these beauties yourself!

As with any pretzel dough, you’ll need to allow an hour for this yeasted dough to rise. After forming the rolls and leaving them for their second (half-hour) rise, they’re quickly boiled in a science-experiment-like solution which creates the extra chewy texture unique to pretzels that we all love.  Finally, they’re popped in the oven for a quick bake.

And we’d love to know…What are some of your favorite game-time foods? 

Pretzel Rolls

For the dough:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (about 105 to 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 .25-ounce packet)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling

For the boiling solution:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the flour, salt and melted butter and knead on low speed until the dough is well-mixed.
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead several times by hand to ensure the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a round ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover it withplastic wrap. Allow n a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto the floured work surface. Divide the dough evenly into 8 to 12 pieces (I went with 8 large rolls.)  Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet.   Cover rolls with a clean tea towel and let rise again until doubled in size, (about 30 minutes.)
  4. After the second rise, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; Set aside.
  5. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add the baking soda and sugar.  Carefully drop  2 rolls at a time into the boiling liquid. Boil for 30 seconds on the first side, then turn them and boil another 30 seconds on the other side. Lift the rolls from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Gently pat residual foam or water with a paper towel.
  6. Snip a large X into the top of each roll using kitchen scissors. Beat the egg white lightly with 1 teaspoon of water and brush each roll lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle coarse salt generously over the rolls.
  7. Bake until deeply golden, about 20 to 25 minutes, (and rotating the sheets halfway through baking.)  Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving to create the  best flavor and texture.

*yields 8-12, depending on size

**Recipe from Piece of Cake. 


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Jess Simpson