Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pretzel buns!

Friday night we hung out with friends Ruthy & Andy at  Carlee & Brad's .  We had a FANTASTIC dinner & then split up by gender.  We girls talked about baking and babies and budgets (I had a great time, ladies!) while our husbands watched variations of the song We are Young by Fun on Youtube, pretty much for an hour.  We kept hearing hysterical laughter from the other room. Random, but we had a blast.  Thank you, Carlee (& Brad), for a great Friday!

We had a lazy rest of the weekend.  The most notable thing we made were these:

Pretzel Bun burgers with Tomato Jam

On Sunday, Ruthy (check out her blog DiscoveryStreet!) checked in on facebook at one of our favorite restaurants in Tacoma, Dirty Oscar's Annex.  They make the most amazing burgers with pretzel buns & tomato jam.  We decided to try to recreate both.

I found this pretzel bun recipe on allrecipes.  Their top rated recipe for anything you search for is pretty much failproof.  These buns didn't disappoint. (I will share Matt's tomato jam recipe in another post.)

Matt sprinkling the buns with salt before they went into the oven

What you need:

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • sea salt
    finished product- these were so good!

    What to do:

    1. Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
    2. Add milk, shortening, eggs, oil, 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in remaining 3 cups of flour by hand, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough will be VERY sticky.
    3. Drizzle some vegetable oil in a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp, warm cloth and let rise in a warm place.  (I like to periodically place the damp dishcloth in the microwave for 30 seconds, so that even if you can't find a "warm place", the dough in the bowl can rise.)   When dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour, uncover and punch it down.
    4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    5. Pull off baseball size portions of dough and roll into "snakes" about 6 inches long. Roll each "snake" into a spiral to give the tops some texture. Set each formed bun aside.
    6. Mix the baking soda and 4 cups hot water in a bowl. The baking soda does not need to dissolve completely. Dip each bun in the baking soda solution before placing on a baking sheet. Brush each bun with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the preheated oven until brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.  Try not to eat these too quickly!