craveworthy pretzel rolls

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve lost my baking mojo.  Two weeks went by without any baking projects.  This weekend, however, I got a craving.  I’ve been dying for pretzel rolls and I can’t find one that meets my expectations.
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The temperature rose to about 80 degrees and since our a/c hasn’t been turned on I had to wait for the sun to go down to start my baking project.  I decided to resurrect the first recipe that I used a few months ago.  It’s been so long since I’ve worked with dough and I missed it!
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I love the smell of the yeast when it is combined with water and sugar.  I love the texture of the just risen dough when I punch it down.  It’s tacky but not sticky and totally spongy.
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I made a few different shapes.  A few pretzels, some round rolls and some long rolls.  The pretzel shapes came out a lot smaller than the other ones.  However, they did take more of the baking soda taste (that I love) from boiling water bath.

I baked the first batch for 10 minutes and they didn’t quite brown enough so I baked the second batch at 13 minutes and they were perfect.
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Crave satisfying pretzel rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg active dried yeast

2 tsp table salt
4 1/2 cups flour
50 grams butter, softened at room temperature

10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
salt or spices for sprinkling
one egg yolk
1 tsp water

1. Combine the yeast, water and sugar and let the yeast rise for 5 minutes

2. Sift the salt and flour together into the bowl of a kitchen aid.  Once the yeast is done proofing slowly pour it into the flour mixture at medium speed.  Then add the room temperature butter.  Increase the speed to fully combine the mixture.  (if you want to add any spices now is the time) Add water if the dough is too dry and flour if it is too wet.  The dough is done when it pulls away from the bowl and sticks to the dough hook.  Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover for an hour.

3. Right before the hour is up boil the water and baking soda and heat the oven to 450.  Mix the egg yolk and a teaspoon of water and set aside.

4. One the hour is up divide the dough into the size and shape that you like.  I found cutting slits in the top is helpful. Let the pretzels rise for 5-10 minutes.

5. Place the pretzels into the boiling water bath for about 30 seconds to a minute.  Place the boiled pretzels on lined baking sheets and brush with egg wash and generously sprinkle with salt and/or other spices that you’d like.  Let the pretzels rise again for 5-10 minutes.

6. Once they are done rising bake for 13 minutes.