One of my favourite foods to eat in Germany is the soft pretzel roll or Laugenbrötchen. These are found at most bakeries in Germany and they are sold plain, but can also be filled as a sandwich. For example, a great quick snack could be a pretzel roll with cheese and butter, or salami and pickles. Actually the pretzel rolls are not only common in Germany, and can also be found in some parts of Switzerland and France.
Since I have not been able to travel to any of these countries recently, I decided it was time to try a recipe to make laugenbrötchen or soft pretzel rolls. You can follow this easy recipe to create your own at home.
14 fl ounces warm water
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c strong white bread flour
1/4 c dried skimmed milk
2 tsp dried yeast
Water for boiling
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 c baking soda
Coarse grain sea salt
In a large bowl, mix the warm water, unsalted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, flour, skimmed milk and yeast. Knead the dough until soft and smooth, about 5 minutes.
Allow the dough to rise in a lightly oiled glass bowl, covered, for about 1 hour. Dough should double in size.
Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F.
On a lightly greased work surface, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes.
Half-fill a medium sized saucepan with water and add the 1 Tbsp salt and 1/4 baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drop several dough balls into the boiling water for about 1 minute, making sure to turn them over at least once. Use a slotted spoon to remove the balls and put them on the greased baking sheet. Leave 2-3 inches of space between the balls. Use scissors to cut a cross onto the top, centre of each ball. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat for all balls.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the rolls are a dark brown colour. Remove, and cool on a wire rack.
Note: If you would like to make longer rolls rather than round buns, then divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll into a log shape. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes. Boil for 1-2 minutes, turning halfway through. Then place rolls on the greased baking sheet, use a knife to cut 3 diagonal slits across the top. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and bake for 20 minutes.
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