S&T Soft Pretzel Buns

I am a hamburger bun snob.  And I’m okay with that.  I don’t like flimsy buns, you can take your sesame seeds and give them to the birds, and don’t even get me started on a bun that’s not toasted.  I need a bun that can hold up to the burger I’m about to create…because this girl eats!  We’re talking a thick patty with all the fixins.  And I can’t have a bun just fall apart under the weight of my creation…that’s not cute. 

Enter: S&T Soft Pretzel Buns.  This is a sturdy bun, yet soft and fluffy on the inside.  And it’s not just something that hold the burger together…it has a flavor all its own which just elevates the burger.  You could even enjoy these sans the burger, with just some melted butter.  These buns are easy to make and quite impressive to serve.  So for your next cookout, try them with Slice & Torte Turkey Burgers.

Yields 8 medium buns.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divded 1+1
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces AP flour
  • 3 ounces melted salted butter
  • Vegetable oil, for mixing bowl
  • 3 quarts + 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk

Instructions:

  1. Combine water, milk, both sugars, and 2 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to foam.
  2. Add melted butter and flour and mix on low speed until well combined, using the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer.  Increase the speed to medium and let knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.  This should take between 4 and 5 minutes.
  3. Remove dough and place in a bowl that has been oiled with the vegetable oil.  You can use your mixing bowl or a separate bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel.  Let set in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, 1-2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.  Set aside.
  5. Portion dough into 8 equally sized pieces and gently roll into a ball; pinch the bottoms to help the dough form a taut ball.  Lay dough balls on a lightly greased piece of parchment and let rest, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water, baking soda, and 1 tablespoon sugar to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.  Also, whisk together egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water and set aside.
  7. Carefully, remove dough balls from parchment and place 2-3 dough balls in the boiling water and boil for about 30 seconds on each side.  The longer you boil, the chewier the buns will be.  Remove dough from water using a slotted spatula, making sure to let the excessive water drip off. 
  8. Use a sharp knife to cut 2 cuts (lines or a cross) on the top of each ball.  Gently brush with egg wash and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
  9. Place boiled dough balls on baking sheets and move into the oven.  Bake until golden brown, about 12-16 minutes. 
  10. Transfer to cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.