Chewy and salty, these homemade pretzel buns are the perfect pairing for your next summer BBQ or brunch.
- 1C light beer, room temperature (I’ve used Modelo and Stella, both with great results)
- 1/2C half and half, warm (whole milk will also work)
- 1T honey
- 1 packet of instant yeast
- 4C bread flour
- 2T unsalted butter, melted and cooled + 2T more (also melted) for brushing the finished product
- 1 1/2t kosher salt
- 10C water
- 2/3C baking soda
- 1 egg beaten for the egg wash
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine the beer, half and half, honey, and yeast.
- Add 2C of bread flour and the 2T of the melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix on low until just combined.
- Add the rest of the bread flour and salt. Starting on low, slowly build the speed up to medium-high and mix for about 10 minutes. The dough will come together around the 5-minute mark, so the rest of the time is building up gluten.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for an additional 3-5 minutes. Work the dough until it passes the windowpane test. To do this, pinch off a small piece and gently stretch it until it is thin enough to see light through. If it rips before you get to that thin membrane, you need to do some more kneading.
- Using vegetable oil (or other neutral oil), oil a large bowl and plop your dough inside, coating all sides of the dough in oil. Cover with a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap and allow to double in size. This takes around an hour.
- Dump the dough onto a very lightly floured work surface and divide it into 8 equal-sized pieces (mine work out to 118g each).
- To shape the dough, gently bring the edges into the middle and pinch together to form a dumpling-esque shape. Place it, pinched side down, on your surface, and with your hand in a ‘C’ shape around the dough, gently circle your hand to better seal the bottom and create a tighter top. Allow the dough balls to rest, covered with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap, for about 40 minutes.
- When there is about 10 minutes left in your rest time, preheat your oven to 450F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or greased parchment paper.
- Bring 10C of water and 2/3C baking soda to a boil. Add one or two pretzels to the solution at a time, depending on the size of your pot, and boil for about 30 seconds (15 seconds on each side).
- Remove your pretzels using a large slotted spoon or spider and place them onto a baking sheet. It will be 4 pretzels per baking sheet. Cut an ‘X’ into the center of each and liberally brush the pretzels with egg wash and top with coarse salt.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with a little more coarse salt. Allow to cool for a full 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying with a cheeseburger.