Monday, August 22, 2011

Secret Recipe Club: Pretzel Rolls and Beer Bread

     It's that time of the month again! I'm participating in the Secret Recipe Club. Basically, you sign up and you are assigned a blog. You get to pick a recipe from their blog to try and change at your will. Then you make your post about it on the assigned day. All posts for that day are added to a blog hop, so it's easy to see what everyone else made too. It's so fun to see what people pick from your own website too!
     This month, I was assigned to Heather's blog: It's Yummy to My Tummy. There were several recipes I found that I wanted to try....and I'm still going to try the granola bars and the fruit and cheese danish. I ended up choosing two for this post: pretzel rolls and beer bread. I've been wanting to try my own buns for a while now, so the pretzel rolls worked out perfectly. I keep hearing about the Tastefully Simple beer bread, but I've never had it, so when I saw that recipe I had to try that too. Both came out tasting great.
    I really love the pretzel rolls. I've actually made them three times now (in a month!). We've eaten them with grilled burgers, chicken and lunchmeat. Chicken salad sandwiches would also taste great, but that is one thing I love and J won't eat! I think everything tastes better with a special bread, and this one wont disappoint. It tastes just like the soft pretzels at a ballpark...but I'm sure it's much healthier since you know all the ingredients in it! It also freezes well too. I froze them after baking them all the way, but you could also freeze them after a couple minutes in the oven (before they brown) then brown them after thawing.
     The beer bread is very good too. I recommend it as a sandwich bread or as a dipper bit. Alone, this bread is a good basic bread, but the beer flavor compliments and enhances other toppings or ingredients really well. We made grilled chicken with BBQ sauce sandwiches out of this bread. We used a strong dark beer from Trader Joe's (similar to Guinness), but you could use any beer you like the flavor of. Heather said once she made it with cream soda and sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar. I keep meaning to try that! Yum.
     Of course, I changed both recipes just a bit. I substituted white whole wheat flour, which is our family preference. This also means adding in some vital wheat gluten to make sure the yeast works properly.

Pretzel Rolls
1-1/3 cups warm water
2 Tbl warm milk
2-1/2 tsp yeast
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbl melted butter
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbl + 2 tsp vital wheat gluten
kosher salt
2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup baking soda

  • Mix 1/3 cup warm water (about 105*) with yeast and some of the brown sugar. Let stand until foamy.
  •  Add the remaining cup of warm water with milk, the rest of the brown sugar, and melted butter and swirl to dissolve. Add flour and mix at medium-low speed. Knead for about 2 minutes. Roll into a 2 foot long log and cut into 12 even pieces. Cover dough with plastic and damp cloth and sit for 10-20 minutes. 
  • Pat dough into rolls or knots (the rolls rose better for me) and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let pretzels rest for another 30-45 minutes. They should rise quite a bit during this time. 
  • Preheat oven to 425*. Lightly oil baking sheets.
  • In a large stockpot (seriously-Large! When you add the baking soda it's like a volcanic reaction!) Bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda.
  • Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil no longer than 30 seconds, turning once. carefully remove and place  on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat.
  • Bake rolls for about 8-10 minutes or until browned all over. 
  • Cool about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Beer Bread
12 oz beer
2-1/2 cups + 2Tbl whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbl melted butter
4-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
  • Preheat oven to 350*. Grease loaf pan. 
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in beer. 
  • Pour batter into pan and brush on melted butter. 
  • Bake 50-60 minutes until browned.
  • Cool slightly and remove from pan. 


  1. thanks for the review of my blog recipes! You picked probably one of my MOST favorite recipe and for sure my daughter's staple in her diet, pretzels! Glad you enjoyed my easy beer bread recipe too and I love the whole wheat flour substitute. I've used it once before and it added a nice flavor! thanks for being part of the SRC! ! -Heather at

  2. Oh, the pretzel rolls sound fabulous!

  3. Not one but two recipe choices! Great way to show your Secret Recipe Club blog assignment some love. Both of these recipes sound amazing. I would love to give them a try sometime. Yummy!

  4. The beer bread looks awesome. It's one of the few breads I've made from scratch (I'm not a baker). One of my best friends makes it for fondue. Between the bread and the cheese, you're not able to move after dinner.

  5. The pretzel rolls sound delicious. I've had that on my to try list for a while now. I'm thinking I need to do it sooner than later now!

  6. I'm always impressed by those who bake bread and yours looks wonderful. Love that you made two recipes, way to go! If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Group 'A" ~ SRC recipe this month: Cilantro Lime Chicken

    Cook Lisa Cook

  7. Mmm, the pretzel rolls look awesome! I've got BLTs on the menu tonight - those would be perfect!

  8. Yum on both recipes. I'll definitely have to try those pretzel rolls.

  9. Pretzel rolls are the best!

  10. MMM pretzel rolls! That's one our favorites. I'll definitely be trying them out once the weather cools down and I can stand to bake bread.

    Heather @ Join Us, Pull up A Chair

  11. I have made beer bread and I love it. Easy, and very tasty. Nice post andi

  12. I've made the beer bread before and I LOVE it!

  13. Love love LOVE pretzel rolls! Could do with a BLT on a pretzel roll right NOW!

    I will be giving this recipe a try for sure!

  14. I have had pretzel rolls on my to do list forever! That photo of the sandwich looks mouth watering good. Great job!

  15. These pretzel rolls sound amazing! Definitely would be the perfect bun for a juicy burger =)

  16. I need to try my hand in some more bread recipes! The buns look amazing!

    Thanks again for being a part of SRC, I enjoyed being your host! I finished linky everyone and organizing and now I get to visit everyone's blog, THIS IS THE FUN PART!

    Come check out my Secret Recipe Club Post: Cucumber Salad

  17. it's always a treat to add new bread recipes to my files. Glad to be in SRC with you!

  18. I've been looking for a recipe for pretzel rolls. These look delicious.

  19. Looks great! SRC is turning out to be so much fun -- lots of new recipes to try! Can't wait to make the pretzel rolls!

  20. Now who doesn't LOVE pretzel rolls!
    Stopping by from group C. Fun to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. Here is my link for August, would love if you stopped by to say *hi*


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