I baked these a week ago, and am just now getting around to writing this post…
And right now, since I’m feeling like I’d like nothing more than to be eating one of these pretzel buns again instead of editing a blog post about them…
I think I will just leave you with a bunch of photos and the recipe. And go:
(You should make these, by the way, despite my lack of characteristically overenthusiastic description in this post. They are sooo easy. And sooo good.)
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2009, via Cut Restaurant
Makes about 8 pretzel buns
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees) water
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbs packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tbs olive oil
8 cups water
1/4 cup amber beer
2 tbs baking soda
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbs vegetable oil (or olive oil)
Coarse sea salt
Penzey’s Buttermilk Ranch salad dressing mix
Whisk together the flour and salt; set aside. Place 1/2 cup warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Stir in yeast and let stand until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add buttermilk, both sugars and vegetable oil; mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Coat a separate bowl with the 1/2 tablespoon olive oil so that the dough does not stick to the bowl. Scrape dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to stand until slightly puffed and light, about 1 hour.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface, kneading if necessary, and shape into a thick oval disc. Divide dough into 8 equal portions, cut into pie wedges; tuck dough into bottom to create a round bun. Keep kneading to a minimum at this point so the outside of your dough is smooth, not wrinkly. With scissors, cut an X-shape in the top to release steam while baking. Transfer pretzels to prepared baking sheets, X side up. Cover pretzels with plastic wrap and refrigerate until puffed and light, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Before taking the buns out of the fridge, preheat oven to 450 degrees and place 1 oven rack in top third of oven and another rack in bottom third of oven.
Combine 8 cups water, beer, baking soda and brown sugar in a large wide pot and bring to a simmer. Working in batches, carefully place pretzels in simmering pot; poach 10 seconds. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, flip pretzels over and poach 10 seconds longer. Remove from poaching liquid and return to baking sheet. Brush with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt, or a generous teaspoon per pretzel of buttermilk ranch mix.
Bake pretzels 15-25 minutes until they are a deep brown color. Transfer to wire rack to cool.