Introduction: Peanut Butter Pretzel Rolls
I created this original recipe for Peanut Butter Pretzel Rolls to enter the 2019 National Festival of Breads. For my recipe inspiration, I jumped into the Way Back Machine! When I was a kid, my Mom packed my lunch every day, and my favorite lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pretzels, and a banana for dessert. I still love that for a quick lunch, but when I bake a batch of these Peanut Butter Pretzel Rolls, lunchtime is even better!
Back to 2019, and the contest entry... Imagine my excitement when I received a phone call from Kansas Wheat! I was thrilled to have this recipe chosen as a Finalist, and was awarded a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to compete against other home bread bakers. I baked this recipe twice that day in a hotel ballroom, once for judging, and once for display at the Kansas State Fair. I met the nicest people who shared my love of baking bread, and am grateful for the memories I made there in Kansas.
I love the process of baking these Peanut Butter Pretzel Rolls. The transformation of yeast, flour, and raw ingredients into yummy, homemade bread is magical. I hope you'll give this recipe a try soon!
2 cups warm water (110°F – 115°F)
2 tablespoons honey
1 (¼ ounce) package Red Star Platinum Yeast
½ cup powdered peanut butter (I use PB2 brand)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus 2 teaspoons for greasing rising bowl
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Morton's)
5 – 5 ¼ cups King Arthur Baking Bread Flour, plus extra bench flour
10 cups water
½ cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk plus 2 teaspoons water
¼ cup coarsely chopped roasted salted peanuts
1 1/2 teaspoons pretzel salt
*A few words about flour..
I always bake with King Arthur Flour. I originally made this recipe with King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, but chose to make it today with bread flour, since I had a bag that needed using! If you're interested in the WHY behind flour choices, here's an informative deep dive on King Arthur's website.
**And a few words about Red Star Platinum Yeast. I found this yeast a few years ago at my local Ingles Markets, and now it's the only yeast I use. From the Red Star website, "Red Star Platinum is a unique, 2-in-1 premium instant yeast blended with natural dough strengtheners to give the extra boost that takes the guesswork out of baking with yeast. Platinum is simply better baking made easy!" If you can't find this magical yeast locally, you can order it from Red Star's website.
Stand mixer with bowl and dough hook attachment
Dry and liquid measuring cups, and measuring spoons
Large bowl - for rising dough
Scissors - to open yeast pack
Small bowl, fork, and pastry brush - for egg wash
Kitchen scale with plate - to weigh rolls
Towel or plastic wrap - to place over dough while rising
12” x 18” baking sheet - for baking the rolls (duh!)
Nonstick baking mat or parchment paper - makes the rolls bake more evenly, and no sticking
Dough scraper and spatula
Knife and cutting board - to chop nuts
4 quart or larger Dutch oven - to boil rolls
Slotted spoon - to transfer rolls out of the boiling solution
Paring knife - to slash rolls
Instant read thermometer - very helpful, not required
Spatula - to move the baked rolls
Stove top - to boil rolls
Oven - for baking rolls
Pretty serving plate
Butter - optional, but everything is better with butter
Strawberry Vanilla Spread - optional but delicious
Step 1: Proof the Yeast
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine water, honey and yeast; let proof 5 minutes. If yeast doesn’t foam up, stop here, and go buy some fresh yeast!
*Helpful hint… When I buy yeast, I store it in the freezer, it preserves the life of yeast past the expiration date.
Step 2: Make the Dough
Mix in powdered peanut butter, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, butter and salt.
Time to add the flour. Use the “scoop and sweep” method. This simply means, stir the flour container to aerate, then spoon the flour into the measuring cup. I keep a spoon in my flour container, and that serves as a reminder. Use the flat edge of the dough scraper to level off the cup. This will help ensure you’re not using too much flour, and your rolls will bake up properly.
Gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl. Start with 5 cups, then add 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. The dough will be slightly sticky, but that’s good. You don't want dry, crumbly rolls.
Step 3: Knead the Dough and Let It Rise
Knead dough with hook 3 – 4 minutes to form a smooth dough. Grease large bowl with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled. Platinum Yeast is fast acting, my dough was doubled in 50 minutes. While the dough is rising, coarsely chop the peanuts, and put aside.
Step 4: Form the Rolls
Preheat oven to 400°F. Deflate dough and turn out on lightly floured work surface.
Scale 3-ounce pieces of dough, and shape into smooth rolls. To do this, stretch the top of the dough while pinching and sealing the bottom. Make sure the rolls are smooth on top and sealed on the bottom. After I form the rolls, I form my hand into a cage, then roll the rolls around on an unfloured part of my work surface to help smooth and tighten them up. It’s fun! I then dip the bottom of the rolls into flour, it makes them easier to transfer.
Place rolls on a 12” x 18” pan lined with nonstick baking mat. If you don’t have a mat, you can use parchment (NOT WAX!) paper. If you don’t have either of those, prep your pan with nonstick spray or neutral oil.
Step 5: Deep Breath, It’s Time to Boil the Pretzel Rolls. You Can DO It!
This step might seem scary or unnecessary, but be brave, you can do it! You'll be glad you did.
Boiling the rolls in the baking soda solution makes the rolls shiny and gives them that pretzel chew.
In 4-quart or larger Dutch oven, combine water and baking soda, bring to a boil. I dip my fingers in flour to pick up the rolls.
Boil 3 rolls at a time for 40 – 45 seconds, turning occasionally. Use slotted spoon to remove rolls to lined baking sheet.
The rolls may look a little wrinkly and wonky, but that’s ok! They will be beautiful when the come out of the oven.
Step 6: Slash and Top the Pretzel Rolls With Peanuts and Pretzel Salt
Use a sharp knife, and cut ¼” deep “X” in the top of rolls.
My knife needs to be sharpened, so the cuts don’t look as crisp as I like. If you’re in the same predicament, dip your knife blade in a little flour to help the blade move through the roll. Don’t stress it though, prepare to be amazed at how beautifully these peanut butter pretzel rolls bake up.
Beat together egg yolk and water; brush on rolls. Sprinkle on peanuts and salt.
Step 7: Bake the Rolls
Bake on middle rack of oven 20 – 25 minutes until dark golden brown and internal temperature is 205°F – 210°F. Remove rolls to a rack and cool. Serve with butter and jam.
Step 8: Nutritional Information
Yield: 14 rolls
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 ROLL, 115g): 233 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, 517mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 3g sugars, 7g protein, 92mcg folate, 2mg vitamin C, 3mg iron.
Runner Up in the
6 days ago
Nice instructable, will try it. But i intend to use real NAOH lye, like with my pretzels.
27 days ago
Definitely need to try this!
Reply 27 days ago
Thanks so much!! It’s a fun bake, and comes together quickly. Please let me know if you have any questions when you make them 😄
4 weeks ago
Love your memories of the National Festival of Breads, and your rolls are beautiful!
Reply 4 weeks ago
Thank you, Ronna! That means a lot coming from you, I know you’re a National Festival of Breads winning Champion 😃! Such a wonderful community we are a part of❣️