Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

I had some friends with kids over recently and thought these pretzel buns might be a fun way to dress up a hot dog. They definitely added a little something...I would say that it's the chewy, salty exterior that really improves upon the classic bun. No one wanted mustard (maybe because I made cheese sauce), but obviously a hot dog on a pretzel bun just screams for it. One of the kids said I could put the Pretzel Factory out of business with these, so she liked them. Don't worry Pretzel Factory, I only have one oven and two silpats (and no ambition).

Yield: 14-16 servings

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small cloves garlic, grated
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup baking soda
pretzel salt or coarse ground sea salt, for sprinkling

1.      In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, sugar and honey to 105 to 110º F. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture and wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast blooms.
2.      In a separate saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and garlic and cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
3.      Combine the all-purpose flour and bread flour in a mixing bowl.
4.      Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the blooming yeast, and then add in the melted butter and garlic mixture. Mix on medium speed until the dough has come together and is smooth and elastic in texture and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes.
5.      Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board and form into a ball. Cut into 7 or 8 equal pieces, and then cut those in half to form 14 or 16 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a ball and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Cover with a dish cloth and let them rest in a warm place for 12 to 15 minutes.
6.      Once rested, lightly dust your work surface again and roll the balls into 6-inch logs. Place onto the other prepared baking sheet, cover, place back in the warm spot and let rest for an additional 30 minutes.
7.      Preheat oven to 425º F. Place one oven rack high and one low. Line 2 more baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
8.      In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil, and then add the baking soda. In batches, place the dough in the water and cook for 30 seconds on each side.
9.      Using a slotted spatula, remove the logs and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the logs with pretzel salt as they come out of the water, to ensure the salt sticks. Then cut 3 diagonal slits on top of the bread, not too deep.
10.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until deep golden brown, rotating between the top and bottom racks of the oven halfway through the cooking.

slightly adapted from Jeff Mauro

yeast sprinkled over warm milk, water, honey, sugar mixture

I put everything in the kitchen aid bowl so I
could avoid washing more dishes than necessary.
pouring garlic butter into the bloomed yeast

Because I was cheating a little and using just one
bowl, I decided to add the liquid first. It just seemed
to make more sense.
adding the flours
smooth dough
dough ball
cut into 8 pieces

This recipe originally had a yield of 8, but the
buns came out way too big, so I changed it.
As a matter of fact, I took one of the balls below
and halved it, just to check the size. Even that bun
came out slightly long, but way more manageable.
dough balls on a silpat
risen dough balls on parchment

I'd love to say that I experimented by using one silpat and
one piece of parchment so I could let you know the results,
but the truth is I could only find one of my silpats. Luckily
you can benefit from my laziness (turns out my other silpat was
easy to find if I had only looked for 30 seconds). So here are
the results: DO NOT USE PARCHMENT. The cooked rolls
stuck. And I mean STUCK. They couldn't be peeled off, but had
to be cut off (which loses some of that nice crusty, chewy outside).
dough rolled into logs
logs risen
adding baking soda to boiling water (it bubbles up)
boiling the dough
boiled dough slashed and sprinkled with salt

I didn't have any pretzel salt, so I just used kosher.
pretzel hot dog buns

You can see the baked buns on the parchment in the
background. You can tell from this photo that the parchment
is totally stuck to the buns, just by the way it's pulling up.
You can also tell how gargantuan the other rolls are compared
to the smaller one (at the very top of the silpat lined sheet pan).
This is one of the smaller buns, so you can imagine
how crazy large the other ones twice the size were.
I wish I'd taken a photo of one with a hot dog in it for
scale. Sorry about that. You'll just have to take my word
for it. They were like torpedoes. Delicious torpedoes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Made these today for U.S.-Germany World Cup game. Big hit. Great recipe, would highly recommend it to others. (JC)

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