Hungry to Sail Again
After this pandemic, I know I’ll never take the following things for granted: Restaurants, movie theaters, bookstores, concerts, medical professionals, bars, hairstylists, eyebrow waxers, toilet paper …and Norwegian’s pretzel rolls.
Any other year, I’d either be cruising right now or planning to. Chances are that cruise would be aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship where I’d find those addictive pretzel rolls at buffets, restaurants, in the breadbasket at dinner and, once (bless you, Norwegian PR), an entire plate of them was waiting for me in my cabin when I boarded–I sort of have a reputation for loving them.
Until we can sail again, pretzel roll-addicts can content themselves with the following recipe—it doesn’t come with exotic ports, a view of sparkling blue waters or accommodations at The Haven but until we can stroll up a Norwegian gangway again, it’ll have to do:
Norwegian Cruise Lines Pretzel Rolls
2 teaspoons active, dry yeast
¾ cup lukewarm water
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Coarse sea salt
2 liters water
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons baking soda
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water, milk and canola oil. Fold in about 3 cups of all-purpose flour and the teaspoon of salt. Mix well and add another cup of flour until a firm dough is formed. Turn out onto a floured countertop and knead by hand. Continue kneading until all of the flour is incorporated (about 8 minutes), adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky. When the dough is smooth and elastic, cover with a towel and let rest for one hour. Cut the dough into 10 pieces and form each into a ball. Cover the rolls and let the rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bring the boiling solution to a rolling boil. Boil about three of the pretzel rolls in the solution at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Reduce heat and simmer for one minute per side. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place the rolls on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of each moist roll immediately with sea salt or Kosher salt and cut an “X” onto the top of each roll with a sharp knife. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown (about 20 minutes).
Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.