I didn't want to replicate the giant pretzels I saw - something smaller made a lot more sense to me. And I didn't want a super-sweet dough, either. I wanted it a little bit rich and eggy, and with honey instead of sugar for a bit more depth of flavor.
That was the plan, but it took me a couple days to actually eat my creation.You can't say that I'm not patient. Fortunately, the wait was worth it. The resulting rolls were sweet, the luxurious flavor of honey was evident but not overwhelming. and the cinnamon sugar topping was just right.
These rolls were best when warm, and they were still good when fresh but fully cooled. What surprised me most was how good they were a day or two later, microwaved for thirty seconds and eaten warm. Not quite as good as fresh out of the oven, but they were soft and tender. If I wasn't in such a hurry, they'd probably be even better gently re-warmed in the oven, but I used up all my patience before the were baked.
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup honey divided
1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled to room temperature
1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
3 cups (15 3/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons room temperature butter
1/4 cup sugar (more as needed)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the water and yeast. Dip a spoon into the honey, and use that spoon to stir the water/yeast mixture until the honey dissolves off the spoon. Set the mixture aside for ten minutes until it's foamy.
Add the rest of the honey, eggs, milk, instant potatoes, and bread flour. Knead with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add the salt and butter and continue kneading until the butter and salt are completely incorporated.
Drizzle a little olive oil into a zip-top bag. Form the dough into a ball (it will be very soft; that's fine) and put it into the bag, making sure that it's coated with oil all over. Put the bag in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, remove the bag from the refrigerator, knead the dough a bit, still in the bag, to knock out the air in the dough. You might need to open the bag to let the air out; reseal it. Let the bag sit out until it has come to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a flat rimmed plate or pie pan. Flour your work surface. Remove the dough from the bag and knead briefly. Divide the dough into 16 roughly equal pieces.
Roll each rope in the sugar/cinnamon mixture to coat, then tie each rope into a knot and place them on the prepared baking sheet. When all the knots are formed sprinkle any remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of them. (You can add more cinnamon/sugar, if you desire).
Cover the pans with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until nicely browned, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool if you aren't serving them immediately.
This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.