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    Posts Tagged ‘bread’

    Pretzel Rolls

    I’ve been thinking of baking my own rolls to use as part of my catering enterprise. I thought that using “homemade” vs. “store bought” might set me apart from the rest. I hadn’t baked rolls before, yes I’ve done some breads and muffins and biscotti but hadn’t tackled rolls. I suppose one could use a standard bread recipe and just form the dough into smaller pieces but what fun would that be. A friend of mine gave me a recipe for dinner rolls so I used that as my basis. I baked several batches using that recipe until I felt comfortable making some changes to suit my taste.

    My bread experience told me that using a starter, in this case a Biga, would impart a unique taste and texture currently not found in most recipes. So I started once again to experiment until I felt that it was time to put this out to my followers.

    A Biga, for the novice, is an Italian bread starter that interacts with recipes to give a distinct texture and taste to the final product.

    ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
    10 ounces (285 gms) Bread Flour
    6 ounces (170 grams) Warm Water

    Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and allow to bloom (approx 10 minutes). Combine flour with the yeast water and stir until all the moisture has been absorbed. The Biga will be sticky, coat a bowl with oil and put the Biga into the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place overnight. I turn the oven light on and place the bowl into the oven, you can shorten the time to 3 ½ hours but I prefer the overnight method. Make sure the bowl is big enough as the biga grows to almost triple in size.


    I’ve included the original recipe from my friend and will indicate where I made alterations.
    You will need:
    4 ½ t. yeast (2 packages)
    2 cups warm water.

    2 t salt
    ½ cup sugar
    ¼ cup shortening
    1 egg
    6 cups flour + flour for work surface.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Dissolve the yeast in very warm water (tap woter as hot as it gets) stir in sugar, salt, shortening and egg. Put 3 cups flour into stand mixer with dough hook, alternatively put into large bowl and add all of the wet ingredients, mix at low speed until thoroughly combined (if using bowl mix with a pair of forks). Add remaining flour at about ½ to one cup at a time until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl. The change I made is at this point. I placed the Biga into the bowl then added the wet ingredients and proceeded with the addition of the remaining flour. When dough pulls away from the sides remove from bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Oil another clean bowl, place the dough into it and cover with plastic wrap, let rise for approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours until double in size.

    After dough has risen punch down to deflate, return to lightly floured board and cut into 2 ounce balls, I use a digital kitchen scale, this will give you a roll about two inches across. You can make larger rolls just watch the baking time. Pinch together the dough to be able to make a good ball, in a pot large enough to hold at least 2 quarts of water brought to a boil. When water boils add ¼ cup baking soda, be careful the water will bubble profusely but down worry it’s supposed to do that. Place each ball of dough into the boiling water and wait 30 seconds then roll the ball to the other side and boil for an additional 30 seconds. Line a baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with pan release. Using another egg make a wash by adding a couple of teaspoons of water to the egg and beat well, brush each boiled dough ball with the egg and with a razor make a cross mark on the roll. Work in batches until all the dough is boiled, and washed, bake until golden brown. They should take anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes at 375.

    If you don’t want to make all of the rolls at once wrap the dough completely and either refrigerate if using within a week or freeze until you need it. There are several schools of thought about freezing dough so you might want to read up on that process.

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