I have officially lived in New York City for 8 years. Wow. That feels like an eternity. Pretty much my entire adult life has been spent here and though I love many things about it, I think in the coming year or two, my little family may be ready to venture off onto somewhere a little easier. Living in NYC, as wonderful as it can be, is also really really hard sometimes, (especially with a baby!) What toughened me and made me into the grown-up that I am, doesn’t seem quite as appealing as a parent with (hopefully someday,) multiple kids.
Up until this year, one of the things I’ve missed the most about Midwest life is summer grilling. Lounging on the back porch- burgers, brats, corn on the cob and all the cook-out food I love. BUT- can you believe that the new apartment we moved into last fall actually has a back patio!? It has a grill and we just ordered patio furniture, and my upstairs neighbors are even putting a kiddie pool and baby swing out there! Once we get it all situated- we may actually get to enjoy a slice of what I’m so nostalgic for.
The idea of summer grilling has been giving me loads of ideas for fabulous summer recipes starting with these Pretzel Buns. I recently had an amazing burger with lots of mustard and a beer cheese sauce on a salty pretzel bun and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. These buns taste just like my favorite soft and chewy pretzels and are SO freaking good with a burger! I had it yesterday for lunch with a veggie burger and it was to die. The rest will be used this weekend for our first cook-out!
Overall these buns are pretty easy to make, it’s a simple yeast dough, formed into rolls that are boiled in a baking soda solution which helps give them their dark color and chewy pretzel texture. These would also be amazing as hotdog/bratwurst buns (just shaped a bit differently obviously!)
NYC- I am giving you a chance to make my summer grilling dreams come true- don’t let me down! :)
- 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry or instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup warm water
- Vegetable oil, (for coating the bowl)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with a dough hook,) combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir to combine.
- Add the warm water and turn the mixer on, low speed at first to combine and then on medium for 7-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer it to the oiled bowl and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Proof in a warm place for 30-35 minutes or until doubled in size. (While the dough is proofing, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spray lightly and set aside.)
- When the dough has proofed, Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and shape into rolls. (You can weigh the portions to ensure they are even, I will do that next time.)
- Place rolls on the cookie sheet and cover with the damp cloth again, proofing in a warm place for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile boil the 6 cups of water and slowly add the baking soda.
- Gently drop the proofed rolls into the baking soda solution, one at a time- one minute on each side, using a slotted spoon to place each boiled roll onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- When all the rolls are boiled, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of each one.
- Bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown. Serve warm or toasted.
Recipe adapted from: The Chow