I have never bought a pretzel roll. I saw them at Panera or Corner Bakery or some such pseudo bakery. I figured how hard could it be to make them? Not too hard, they key is boiling them in a baking soda solution.
1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon water
Place warm water in the bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to rest until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Place flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.Once yeast is foamy, combine the flour mixture to the yeasty stuff. Knead for ten minutes (I did this part by hand, because I am NOT pulling out my mixer for this).
Form dough into a ball, place in a large oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with olive oil, and set aside.
Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into rolls. Place rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Once rolls have risen, stir baking soda into boiling water (water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 30 seconds per side. The rolls will turn a few shades yellow.
Remove rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up.
Combine egg and water. Brush the cut side of the rolls with the egg mixture.
Sprinkle well with salt, and repeat with remaining rolls.
Once all rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.
Taka Update May 22. 2013
1 hour ago