Pretzel buns! Why haven’t I done this before?!
Pretzel buns are my favourite incarnation of this recipe.
They’re perfect for whatever you want to put on a bun. Pillowy soft in the middle, and with a crispy shell that’s salty and pretzel-ized. Perfection.
These are great with veggie burgers, vegetarian pulled pork, or meat (I assume). They’re also fantastic the next morning toasted with some butter and jam. Who says you can’t have pretzels for breakfast.
Makes 8 slider-sized buns, or 4 regular sized buns
1 package dry yeast
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup plus 1 cup water
4 cups flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp baking soda
10 cups water (for boiling)
coarse salt, for sprinkling
Start by proofing the yeast: in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm (but not hot!) water, maple syrup, and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes – if the yeast hasn’t started to expand and bubble a bit, it’s dead – start over with new yeast.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine proofed yeast, flour, remaining 1 cup of water, oil, and salt. Beat with a dough hook for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and holding together (alternatively, knead all ingredients together by hand for about 8 minutes).
Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place bowl in a nice, cozy warm spot and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
For slider buns, divide dough into 16 equal sized pieces. Roll into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. (For full sized buns, do this with 8 pieces of dough). Cover with a towel and let rise another half hour.
Preheat oven to 400 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring 10 cups water to a boil and stir in baking soda. Reduce heat so water is aggressively simmering (that’s a thing).
Transfer each bun into the simmering water for 30 seconds. Transfer back onto baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Use a sharp knife to cut a little X in the top of each bun. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake until golden on top, 15-18 minutes.