1 ½ C warm water (110 degrees F. )
1 package Active Dry Yeast (not Quick Rise Yeast)
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ½ C unbleached all-purpose flour
2 t salt
4 T melted unsalted butter
¼ C baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten
Sea salt to sprinkle on top
Place the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer, add the yeast and wait about 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy and ‘alive'.
In the meantime: whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Melt the butter. Beat the egg and set aside.
When the yeast is a bit ‘foamy’ add the dry ingredients in small amounts, mixing well. Add the melted butter and the egg and mix well with the hook attachment until mixed well.
Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn out onto a floured board. Cut into 16-18 pieces; shape into balls by pinching, coaxing and rolling. You have to sort of pull the sides down to the bottom and pinch it together to seal. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover and allow to rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Boil 2 quarts of water. When bubbly, add the baking soda…. Lower heat to simmer.
Add the ‘dough balls’ carefully to the simmering water and poach them, seam side down for about 30 seconds. Turn them over and do the same for the second side. Remove them with a slotted spoon to the same prepared parchment lined baking sheets.
Glaze each roll with lightly beaten egg wash – make sure to coat completely. Top each roll with sea salt (or pretzel salt). Cut a cross shaped slash in each roll with a sharp knife. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
These were incredible toasted the next morning with butter and honey.