Bread: Pretzel Buns

My phase of making bread/biscuits continues, and today we’re going to talk about something fun and tasty: pretzel buns!

This isn’t as time consuming as the Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks, but some work still needs to be done. It’s actually pretty simple to make, and I’ll give some tips on how to make it easier for yourself if you decide to make this recipe.

It first starts off with getting a large mixing bowl (you’ll see why later). Once you have your bow, you need to warm up 1/2 a cup of water. While the water is heating, measure out your white sugar and active dry yeast. To make it easy, use two packets of the active dry yeast that comes in the 3-pack.

To save yourself the frustration, use two of these packets for 4 1/2 teaspoons.

You’ll put the warm water in the bowl and add the sugar and yeast together. Let them do their thing in the bowl for 5 minutes.

After the five minutes are up, add in the milk, shortening, eggs, vegetable oil, flour, more sugar, and salt.

All ingredients added together.

Then you need to get your hand mixer and start it up while adding the rest of the flour (1/2 cup at a time). This will get a little messy, because the dough will bunch up in your mixer.

This isn’t going the way I had hoped…

Once you’ve had enough of your hand mixer, you’ll need a surface that is lightly floured, and you’ll need to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

I had to wash my hands to get this picture.

Once you have kneaded the dough enough, spray another bowl with cooking oil and place the dough in there. Cover it with plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm environment for an hour.

Ready for action!

After an hour, the dough should look like this:

The dough has risen!

The recipe tells you to pull out dough balls the size of baseballs, which will make them large (I guess hence the name “buns” instead of “biscuits”).

It’s about the size of a baseball.

You’ll need to make the dough lengthen like a breadstick, and then you roll it like a cinnamon roll.

This picture makes me slightly uncomfortable.

Do this so you end up with 12 buns.

I’m making snail shells!

Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degress for these. If you’re like me and put the oven on at the last minute, preheat the oven while you do the next step.

Get 4 cups of water and heat it up. Put that in a bowl and mix it with 1/2 cup of baking soda. With the water-baking soda mix, dip the buns into that water before placing on the cookie sheet. Put 6 on a cookie sheet at a time, and use aluminum ones so you don’t burn the bottoms too quickly. Once on the cookie sheet, spread melted butter on each bun and top with a little bit of sea salt.

My very basic setup.

Bake each set of 6 for about 22 minutes in the oven.

Fresh out of the oven!
The Instagram picture.

Overall, I would say that this is a keeper. I’d recommend this recipe for anyone, but just make sure that you have an extra hour set aside for the dough to rise. These are delicious and very fluffy. One of my coworkers saw me eating one, and was extremely jealous. Now they want me to make them some, although if I were to do this again, I would make them smaller and more along the lines of a pretzel biscuit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs 
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • sea salt

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
  2. Add milk, shortening, eggs, oil, 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in remaining 3 cups of flour by hand, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (80 to 95 degrees F (27 to 35 degrees C)) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Uncover the dough and punch it down.
  4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Pull off baseball size portions of dough and roll into “snakes” about 6 inches long. Roll each “snake” into a spiral to give the tops some texture. Set each formed bun aside.
  6. Mix the baking soda and 4 cups hot water in a bowl. The baking soda does not need to dissolve completely. Dip each bun in the baking soda solution before placing on a baking sheet. Brush each bun with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the preheated oven until brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack or brown paper bag.

Source

Author: Michael Maravick

I hold a Bachelor's of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I'm a process engineer by day with a passion for baking and trying new recipes.

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