Can you "Pretzel" it?
I'm on a mission to perfect Pretzel Rolls and Buns...and see just what else on earth I can "Pretzel."
I know pretzel dough requires a lot of flour in order to be chewy...but the yield for rolls and buns is very disappointing.
I thought I'd try an Italina Bread recipe, something big and high-rise and just "pretzel" the dough before baking (dunk in baking soda bath). I reasoned that this type of bread expands more and so perhaps I will end up with a bigger more sandwhich-like result, that still tastes like a pretzel.
But now that I'm studying the ingredients. There really isn't much difference. For the bread, just more flour, oil instead of butter. The rise instructions are abou the same as well.
Question: am I destine to just create the same thing no matter which type of dough I use? Does the baking soda bath restrict the rise? How can I make bigger, softer pretzels for buns?
Also...I use instant yeast. I understand that DOESN'T need to be mixed with water in advance. Some recipes say throw it right in. Some recipes say mix it with *just* water first. Others say mix with water and sugar (and it REALLY starts to bubble!), so why the differences? In the end, is it all the same?