One of our favorite restaurants around the Buffalo area is Black and Blue Steak & Crab. It’s a bit on the pricy side for tight budgeted college students, but special occasions and local restaurant week always bring us back there. Their steak is seasoned to perfection and cooked just the way I like it. They have roasted chickpeas in their chopped salad, which I need to remember that I’d like to try to recreate.. but their fresh baked pretzel rolls, I always look forward to the most. I always make sure to be especially hungry just so I can have a few extra rolls. After making mini pretzel paninis this summer, it hit me just how easy these would be to recreate; I finally got to it this weekend. And oh goodness, are they heavenly.
2 1/2 t active dry yeast
2 T honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 T Earth Balance spread (or butter), melted
2 1/2 t salt
4 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
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 Earth Balance 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.
Divide the ball of dough into fourteen pieces. Roll into balls. Cover with the plastic wrap and allow to rise again for about 20 minutes.
Bake about 25 minutes, until golden.