Back in the day the mall was the place to be. Looking back I don't know where the money was coming from because each trip was spent shopping, seeing movies and purchasing pretzels or food court chinese or movie popcorn or all of them. My only employment was babysitting once a year. This simply proves that my parents had to put up with a lots of stupid stuff from us and yet they love us anyways. Another question is how my weight remained stable but that is for another time.
But back on track. I had a craving for pretzels the other night and the only cure was more cowbell.. or to make some soft pretzels. Lately yeast breads have been calling my name. In the back of my mind I remembered seeing this recipe and I had a hankering to make it. They literally taste just like the pretzels but make sure you liberally salt them. Kosher was what I had and it worked out great taste wise.
From Smitten Kitchen who adapted from Bon Appetit
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 envelope quick-rising yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
Combine bread flour, one envelope yeast, one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon sugar in food processor and blend. With machine running, gradually pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Process one minute to knead. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes. Flour baking sheet, or clear area of counter. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared surface, flattening each slightly. Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls. Brush rolls with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature. Makes 8 buns.