I absolutely LOVE pretzel bread. I know I’m probably not supposed to admit to eating at fast food restaurants, but a couple of years ago Wendy’s came out with a burger on a pretzel bun and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
So imagine my delight when I discovered the secret to baking pretzel bread. It is so easy, SO EASY, that I guarantee you will be making this bread often.
Ready? Here goes…
Make a basic bread dough. I use the standard one from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day…
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 6 1/2 cups flour
Mix it all together in a large bowl. Do not overmix, just until all ingredients are incorporated together into a rather shaggy-looking dough. Cover with a towel and let rise for two hours.
Dusting your hands liberally with flour, tear off hunks of the dough and form balls that are slightly smaller than the size of roll you desire (they will puff up slightly during the boiling and baking process). Set them apart from each other on a piece of parchment paper.
Start a large pot of water to boil on the stove. I use around 8-10 cups of water and around 1/2 cup baking soda. Give the baking soda a little stir to incorporate it in the water. It does not have to be completely dissolved.
Set the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure to place the rack in the middle slot.
Once the water is boiling, take 2-3 of the rolls at a time and place them in the boiling water. You don’t want to crowd them. Let them cook for approximately one minute before flipping them over and boiling them for another two minutes. Remove them from the boiling water and set them on a non-stick baking mat or rimmed cookie sheet. Continue doing this until all of the rolls are done. Do not place them too close together on the baking sheets (you will end up with two baking sheets full of bread) or else they will end up baking together into one larger piece.
Take one egg and beat it, then baste the top of each boiled roll liberally with egg. Bake in batches in the oven for 35 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are dark brown. Sometimes my loaves stick no matter what I do, so be prepared to use a spatula to remove them from the cooking mat/sheet.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Variation: Add one Tbsp each of basil, oregano, garlic powder, and thyme to the mix at the very beginning to make a tasty garlic herb pretzel bread variant. Mmmm!!!