Soft Pretzel Hot Dog Bun
When you head to the ballpark, do you double fist it, salty pretzel in one hand and savoury hot dog in the other? Once again, Slugger (aka Lisa) is batting a thousand. Weary of watching me juggle pretzels and hot dogs, she has hit a home run with these hot-dog-hugging soft pretzel buns. Thanks to Lisa, I now have one hand free to catch that fly ball.
Bite Me Bit
"When you're eating pretzels, chew before you swallow. Listen to your mother."
– George W. Bush (after choking on a pretzel)
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 package dry active yeast (not rapid-rise)
2 tbsp melted butter
4 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
16 cups water
½ cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt (one size larger than kosher salt)
1) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand 5-10 minutes, until the yeast becomes frothy. Add the melted butter, flour and salt. Mix on low speed until well combined. Increase the speed to medium for 5 minutes, until the dough becomes pliable. Remove dough from the bowl and place in a large greased mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.
2) Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a bowl. Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a 7-inch log. Cover logs with a cloth for 10 minutes to rest the dough.
3) Using a large pot, over medium heat, bring 16 cups of water to a boil. Add baking soda. Gently add 2 logs to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Using a flat slotted spoon, remove from water and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs. Cut 3 shallow diagonal slits on the top of each pretzel roll. Brush the tops of each roll with egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve same day.
Yield: 8 buns