Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Soft Pretzel Buns

1 – 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (4 is plenty!!!)
2 Tablespoons dry active yeast
1 – 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
8 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
Coarse sea salt to sprinkle on top

Heat milk and sugar to 120 - 130 degrees F.  
Stir together; 3 1/2 cups flour, yeast and salt, mixing well.  
Pour warmed milk and sugar in flour and stir to mix.  
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes.  
Working additional flour in as needed.  
Pat or roll into a rectangle.  
Cut into desired number of pieces.  
Shape into logs for hot dog buns or round for hamburger buns or rolls.  
Place on parchment lined baking sheets.  
Spray with non-stick spray and cover with plastic wrap or tea towel.  
Let rise until double in a draft free place, about 20 to 30 minutes.  
Towards the end of the rise, bring 8 cups water to boil in a 5 quart pot or larger.  
It’s important to have a large pot.  
Carefully, add baking soda.  NOTE:  It will foam up very fast and then die down.  Hence, the need for the 5 quart, or larger, pot.   
Add one piece at a time, flipping after 10 seconds and remove after 5 to 10 seconds with a large slotted spoon.  
Drain well and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  
Sprinkle with coarse sea salt immediately after taking out of water to ensure salt sticks.  
Repeat with remaining buns or rolls.   
Bake in preheated 425 degree oven on top rack and second to bottom racks.  
Switch places on racks after 7 minutes, cook another 5 to 7 minutes until brown and hollow when tapped.  
Place on cooling rack.  

Best if eaten first day but will keep for several days on counter, if they last that long.  ;) Enjoy!

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