How I made half whole-wheat pretzel rolls
I bought pretzel salt a few months ago and had big dreams of making all sorts of soft pretzel creations with it.
I always feel slightly guilty when making all-white-flour baked goods, though, so I made one batch and then put my pretzel salt away.
But last weekend, Rob specifically asked for more pretzels, so I set my mind on making some that included whole-wheat flour.
I started with this recipe from Tasty Kitchen and altered it just a smidge to make it whole-wheat friendly. The results were so delicious and didn't seem too healthy, like some recipes with whole-wheat substitutions.
They would also be hearty enough that if you made fewer rolls with the recipe, you could hollow them out and use them as bread bowls. Yum.
Half Whole-Wheat Pretzel Rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (or one package)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups, minus 1 tablespoon, whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I only had salted butter, so I used it and 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
pretzel salt for sprinkling
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and one teaspoon sugar and let rest five minutes until foamy.
Add rest of sugar, salt, butter, flours and vital wheat gluten and mix with dough hook until thoroughly combined. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the dough into 18 even pieces. To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Turn over and form dough into rounds by smoothing it with your hands.
Place the ball on baking sheet, pinched seam side down, with at least an inch between each roll. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled.
In a large non-reactive pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Then preheat oven to 425 degrees.
(The original instructions from Tasty Kitchen actually have these listed in reverse order, but it took forever for my water to boil because the oven was preheating at the same time. I used an cast-iron dutch oven with an enamel interior. I'm guessing it would have retained enough heat to keep the water simmering if I'd started preheating after I brought the water to a boil.)
Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach 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, apply egg wash to poached rolls, 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 in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
(I salted just the pretzels I thought we'd eat that day, after previous experience showed the salt made the pretzels soggy overnight. The next day, I flicked a small amount of water on a pretzel roll, sprinkled it with salt and microwaved it for 20 seconds. They were almost as good that way as straight out of the oven.)