On a New York City street-corner, at the ballpark, or at home, there’s nothing that really satisfies a carb-craving quite like a soft, salty, fresh home made pretzel. In the last year or two I’ve noticed that more and more restaurants have begun serving burgers and pulled pork on pretzel buns. Simple, but brilliant. So when I decided to make Beau’s Smoked Pulled Pork, pretzel buns were in order.
Okay, heres your disclaimer. This recipe is pretty messed up. it will have you nervous, confused, scared and baffled. But stick with it. it’s honstly not that tough, and I guarentee that you will end up with soft, chewy, delicious pretzel buns.
Start by locating the following ingredients in your kitchen.
1 1/2 cups warm water (Not hot, but warm)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp Kosher salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, metled.
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
Additional kosher salt, to sprinkle on top
Start by combining the yeast to the warm water. Let sit for about 15 minutes, until it starts to foam. Once some bubbles have started to pop up, add the salt, sugar and flour and combine using a hand mixer on low speed for about a minute. Add melted butter an mix some more, increasing the speed to bring the dough together.
Once mixed and consistent, place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Put in a warm place for about an hour and let it rise.
After an hour, place the dough on a well floured work space a knead a few times. Pull the dough apart into even, 2 ounce balls. You should end up with about 18 small dough balls. Knead and roll each ball to make sure they are all even and consistent, and place them spaced out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F.
Cover the balls with the towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. While they are rising, boil 8 cups of water in a large pot. Once the 3o minutes are up, add 1/4 cup fo baking soda to the boiling water. Cue the foam. Yes, it does look like a science experiment. Have no fear, this is normal. Add 3-4 of the risen balls into the water for about 30 seconds, and then flip fo 30 seconds more. Suing a slotted spoon, remove, strain and set back on the parchment paper. Continue this process until each ball has been poached.
Then, brush each dough ball with some lightly beaten egg and then carefully carve an ‘X’ into each bun with a sharp knife. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt.
Bake the buns for 15 minutes. Remove and and enjoy the soft, chewy perfection.