The pretzel bun is becoming a food fad in a big way. I’ve been seeing them all around town. Restaurants are using them to serve up pressed sandwiches, hot dogs, lobster rolls, and more. I am a huge fan of homemade pretzels, so I love the idea of using them as my go-to sandwich bread. Since pretzel hamburger rolls can be tough to find, I decided to give them a try at home. Making them was surprisingly easy and a really fun activity to do with my daughter. She was fascinated by the yeast activation and how we managed to turn just a few ingredients into a bread used for burgers! Check out the recipe below.
adapted from Chow.com
1 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 ¾ cup bread flour, plus more as needed
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for topping
1/4 cup baking soda
1. Pour the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. If it doesn’t bubble within 5 minutes, discard and start again with fresh yeast.
2. Wipe the inside of a large mixing bowl with the oil and add the flour, sugar, and salt. Once the yeast has sat for 10 minutes, add the dry ingredients to it and stir it with the dough hook attachment on the lowest setting, just until the dough comes together. Increase the speed and mix for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dough forms a smooth ball and is somewhat elastic.
3. Transfer the dough to the oiled mixing bowl and toss it once or twice to coat. Cover the bowl with a cotton dishtowel and let it rest for about 30 to 35 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
4. Punch down the dough and knead it on a floured surface until it is smooth and springs back when poked — about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly rub with oil. Add the rolls to the sheet and put down the tops so they are slightly flattened. Cut 4, 2-inch slashes across the top of each roll. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Stir the baking soda into the water — it will foam a little bit. Boil two rolls at a time for 2 minutes per side. Drain them with a slotted spoon and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle the top with salt. Repeat with remaining rolls. Once all the rolls have been boiled, bake them for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.