1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 pkg (1/4 oz packet) acive dry yeast (not quick rise)
2 tsp sugar
4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
pretzel salt, to sprinkle on top
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and yeast and let rest 5 minutes until foamy. Add the sugar, flour, salt and butter; mix with dough hook until thoroughly combined. Cover with a towel & let rise in a warm palce for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch down & turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 18 pieces (2 ounces each). To shape, take a piece of dought and begin forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center & pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and. Lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles, lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand. Place the balls on baking sheet, pinched side down, with at least 1" between each roll. Cover with a towel & let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, until doubled.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees & plae oven racks on the lowest & middle positions.
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poch for 30 seconds, then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
With a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the lightly beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely. Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut a slash or "x" in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls 15 - 20 minutes. Cool completely & flash freeze before placing in ziploc bag.