How about some pretzel bread?! Jonathan made the dough. I helped him roll it into balls. After it boiled very very briefly in water that has had baking soda added...he dipped them out onto a baking sheet and with a knife I scored an X in each. Then he sprinkled them liberally with kosher salt.Then they were baked until pretty and brown. Jonathan said you have to have a German beer to drink while eating pretzel rolls. I had unsweet iced tea.
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 cup water (110-120 degrees)
2 tablespoons room temperature milk
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups bread flour
4 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons melted butter
Add yeast, water, milk, brown sugar, and butter into a large bowl, whisking until all ingredients are combined. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for yeast to activate. Mix in kosher salt. Start by adding two cups of flour to the bowl, combining it with other ingredients. Add more flour as it is needed, reserving just a bit for kneading later.
The dough should form a slightly tacky, but firm ball. Oil the bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand or machine for at least 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and satiny. Place dough back in the bowl and cover for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and gently de-gas it. Form two separate balls of dough, forming them into the shape you want. Drop one of the balls into the baking soda bath for no longer than 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered. Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough.
Sprinkle the kosher salt over the bread to your specific tastes and make sure to use a knife to cut a small incision on the top of the bread so the dough has somewhere to expand.
Cook the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.
Once removed from the oven, immediately brush with melted butter if you want a soft crust.
***What Jonathan did...he combined all dough ingredients in my stand mixer with a dough hook.
As you can see, he used a pastry knife and cut the dough into 16 wedges then rolled them into balls.
He did not brush butter on the rolls to soften the crust.
He DID drink his German beer with supper!