*Disclosure: I received a product to sample from The Book Club Cookbook Book Blends. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I first offered a glimpse of these yummy hoagies in my Oktoberfest Beer Brat post, but I didn’t share the recipe then, because I thought they were deserving of their own post!
While I made these pretzel rolls to act as hoagies or hot dog buns, the dough can be shaped as round rolls or traditional soft pretzels and be equally delicious.
The water bath the pretzels enjoy just prior to baking gives them their hallmark dark brown crust and flavor. If you really want to impress, you can look up directions and use food grade lyre, which I hear produces even better pretzels, but I do not have food grade lye, nor do I feel up to that task quite yet.
These hoagies can be used to make any kind of sandwich, but my favorite use was with a new spice blend: Harry Potter and the Hors d'Oeuvre of the Phoenix, a Tuscan Bread Dipping Seasoning.
Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I fell in love with the spice blend because of the name alone. Then, I mixed it with some olive oil and dipped my soft pretzels in there and was over the moon. The blend definitely lives up to the hype. This one is a keeper!
Adapted slightly from King Arthur Baking
1 ¾ cups warm water (115 degrees F)
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ½ cups flour
3 quarts water
1 ½ tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons (generous ⅓ cup) baking soda
To make the dough, place the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast and sugar and allow the yeast to activate.
Add the butter, dry milk, salt, and half the flour and use the paddle to mix.
Add the remaining flour and switch to the dough hook. The dough will be on the stickier side but will hold together. To test if it is right, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it gently between your fingers. If you can form a loose ball it is ok, if it sticks everywhere, try adding more flour. Knead on low with the dough hook for 5 minutes.
Turn the dough out into a greased bowl and set aside in a draft free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Punch down and divide into 2.5 ounce pieces. Roll each one into a 5-inch log and place on the prepared sheet. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
Prepare the water bath. Bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and baking soda. Working carefully, drop 5 pretzel logs into the boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Remove the pretzels and place them back on the baking tray. Repeat until all pretzels are boiled.
Use a sharp knife to cut a slash through each pretzel, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-24 minutes or until deeply brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks.