I saw sandwiches tonight at My Sweet and Saucy, and I instantly wanted to crawl through my screen and eat them. The post reminded me that I've been meaning to bake a batch of pretzel bread which I saw on another blog not too long ago. It will have to do. It will have to do.
Pretzel Bread / Baguettes (Small Batch)
Makes 4 Medium Sized Pretzel Rolls
2-3/4 cups bread flour
2-1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast or SAF instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
coarse sea salt
I adapted this recipe from Desert Candy, to use my bread machine, which calls for adding the dough's liquid ingredients first, followed by dry, yeast on top. I set it to "dough only" and let it knead and rise first in the machine, and then removed it to a pan lined with parchment. I slashed into the bread dough with scissors, covered, and let rise again for approximately 15 minutes while I prepared the water bath. I brought a soup pot of water to boil, and added the baking soda and sugar when I was ready to add the rolls. Boiled the rolls on each side for 30 seconds (they float, so flipping is in order).
Removed to a pan lined with parchment paper, brushed with egg white, and salted. Baked at 375 for 30 minutes.
I found them to be quite tasty, but not as "pretzel tasting" as I would like. Very good, make no mistake (all homemade bread is good), but not quite what I'm looking for yet. I thought they were more like bagels than pretzels, and the baking soda flavor was more pronounced than I anticipated, so perhaps I added too much or the ratio of water to baking soda was off. Still, I have a chicken breast roasted and this will make a lovely sandwich tomorrow.
The action shots: