I had made some pimento cheese to put on some burgers. And to make it extra special, I decided to make some pretzel rolls. The first time I had a pretzel roll was at Weber Grill. They serve them with cheddar spread before your dinner gets there. It’s amazing. Then, I had them at The Counter. It was a special bun option that was so popular, it’s now a permanent option. Pretzel rolls are perfect for burgers because, no matter how juicy the burger, the pretzel roll is always up to the task. I made these a while back using a pretzel roll recipe from Stresscake, and it worked out ok. But I’ve recently realized that, since I use rapid rise yeast, I need to change certain things. So I decided to make some modifications. And this time, I couldn’t be happier.
Rapid Rise Pretzel Roll Recipe:
1. Mix dry ingredients: 4 plus maybe 1/4 to 1/2 C of flour with a packet of rapid rise yeast. You’re also supposed to add a tablespoon of sugar. I forgot to do this initially, but I did add it later. I was uncertain as to whether the sugar was just something to wake up regular yeast, which I wasn’t using. But, even if I didn’t need it due to the kind of yeast I was using, I figured pretzel rolls are kind of sweet anyway. Turns out, the sugar was a good thing to add.
2. Introduce liquid ingredients: Combine 1.25 C hot water (120 degrees or so) and 2T of melted butter. Put this into the flour and yeast.
3. Knead: it’s going to take several minutes.
4. Rest/rise: Put a tiny bit of oil in a bowl and wipe it around. Then put your dough in there. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise. It will double in size in less than an hour.
5. Form into balls: Don’t punch it down or anything. Just dump it out onto a board, cut it into six pieces, and form each piece into a ball and set onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Try not to squeeze too much of the air out of it. Rapid rise yeast tends to blow most of its load on the first rise.
6. Rest/rise: cover with a tea towel. Give it about 20 minutes or so.
7. Poach: this is the secret to good pretzel rolls, apparently. Boil water in a wide pot. Doesn’t need to be that deep, but deeper than a frying pan. Once it’s boiling, add 2/3C baking soda. It’s a pH thing, I think. Drop a roll in the boiling baking soda water. After 30 seconds, flip it over. After another 30 seconds, put it back on the sheet tray. Do this one at a time. It helps if you have a spider for this.
8. Baste: While the next pretzel roll is in the bath, baste the poached roll in egg wash. Really get it on there. It’s what makes the crust. This part gets hectic. You’ll get into a rhythm eventually though.
9. Salt: While the egg wash is still wet, sprinkle some pretzel salt on top. if you don’t have pretzel salt, which I don’t, use sea salt or kosher salt. If you don’t have those, then skip the salt.
9. Bake: 450 for about 20 minutes.
When these come out of the oven, it is a marvelous thing. I was shouting with excitement at how brown they got. Last time I made them, some of them got brown but some only got golden brown. This time, they turned out wonderfully. And they were huge.
While the pretzel rolls cooled, I pulled out some fries from the freezer and started them baking per the instructions on the bag. Of course, I lined them all up in a parallel fashion, which we all know facilitates even baking and enhances the french fry flavor.
After the fries were done, I sliced the pretzel rolls open and put some burgers topped with pimento cheese on them. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Part of the deliciousness was due to the fact that I had made the burger, the pretzel roll, and the cheese spread (including the mayonnaise in the cheese spread) from scratch. There was something really satisfying about that. But pride in the accomplishment aside, the food was just plain awesome. After dinner, Sarah and I took the dog for a long walk, and we raved about what we just ate the entire time.