Remember those Auntie Anne's Pretzels I made a few weeks ago? Oh what a fateful day it was. There are very few things I would make twice without changing a thing.
Those pretzels were not one of them.
You read that right. That was the one and only time I ever made pretzels. Don't get me wrong, they were fabulous and easy, but how often do you really need pretzels? I mean, I eat four square meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Pretzels do not fit into any of those categories.
Luckily, buns do.
Look at them. Soft and pillowy on the inside, salty and buttery on the top, crispy on the bottom. And you can have them every day. Heck, you can have them for every MEAL. Want a sausage and egg sandwich for breakfast? Check. How about a chicken salad sandwich or PB&J for lunch? Double check. Need some dinner rolls to go with your pot roast? Gotcha covered. Sloppy joes? Yes please. Is your sweet tooth itching? Slice one in half and turn it into cinnamon toast.
These are a new staple around here. Join me in this new way of life.
That's a ball of dough splashing into baking soda dissolved in water. That's what makes a pretzel have that nice, brown, chewy crust. Yummm.
Don't just throw it in like that though. All the water sort of ended up on the floor. Dumb.
Makes 12 Adapted from Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Copycat Recipe
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Warm up the milk in the microwave or on the stove for just about one and a half minutes. It should be about 110º. If it's too hot it will kill the yeast. You should be able to comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and the add the fine salt. Kneed for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 375º. Punch down dough and divide into 12 lumps (I like to divide it in half, then divide each half into three, and then divide each remaining one in half again). Roll them into balls. Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Dip each ball in the baking soda water and then cut a slit in the top with a serrated knife. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 9-15 minutes or until browned. Brush with melted butter.
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