Now, I've made pretzel rolls before, but they didn't quite rise enough for my liking. I have pretty high expectations when it comes to pretzel rolls, since the only time I ever have them are when Alex and I go to our favorite restaurant in Buffalo, Black & Blue Steak & Crab. It's fancy, so you can imagine that we don't get there quite as often as my pretzel roll loving self would like. So of course, if I'm taking the time to make them at home, they better be pretty darn close to what I get at that restaurant!
You'll be pleased to know that I've succeeded this time. The key is half unbleached all-purpose flour, half white whole wheat. Entirely white whole wheat just didn't give it the rise I love. But at least it's still a bit healthier than the rolls we get at Black & Blue. I'll take it! Plus, these gave me an excuse to finally go buy some kosher salt. I may have been way too excited about that. I still am, really.
I made these babies for my cousin's bridal shower the other weekend. They were a hit, and thankfully, I made enough that there were some leftovers I was able to bring back to Buffalo. I ate all my leftover rolls as a sandwich with ham and cheese. My favorite. The kitties thought it was their favorite, too, as they sneakily tried to nibble on the edges of ham every time they thought I wasn't looking.
So, yeah. Make these. Because everyone needs a yeasty, carb-filled pretzel every now and then (or two or three).
makes 16 rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 t honey
1 T active dry yeast
4 T butter, melted
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 t salt
2/3 cup baking soda
10 cups water
1 egg + 1 T cold water, for egg wash
kosher salt (or any coarse salt), for sprinkling
Combine the warm water, yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Add in the butter and salt, and stir. Slowly add in the flour while the mixer is running and allow to mix at a low speed until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl (should be smooth & elastic). Place the ball of dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap that has also been sprayed with oil. Allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour (with the summer heat, I like just sitting the bowl outside - rises in no time).
Divide the ball of dough into sixteen pieces. Roll into balls. Cover with the plastic wrap and allow to rise again for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot on the stove. Add the baking soda to the water and stir to dissolve.
Place the dough balls two at a time into the boiling baking soda bath. After about 30 seconds on each side, remove them and place on a paper towel to dry off. Transfer the boiled pieces of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the cold water. Brush each pretzel roll with the egg wash, slash an X (or single slash) with a knife, and sprinkle with the kosher salt.
Bake about 25 minutes, until golden.
These are best eaten the same day. You should store them loosely covered by a tea towel in the open air - they will condensate and become wrinkly if you put them into an airtight container. If you don't care about looks, by all means, use the airtight container - they will last longer!
These can also be frozen for up to two months.