My bread machine has been getting a work-out lately. Have I mentioned my son, daughter-in-law and their two sons (4 years and 10 mos) are living with us just until they can find a house? Susie and I both like to bake bread and it’s much more fun with plenty of appreciative people around to eat it.
I’ve been looking to add trendy pretzel buns to my repertoire so when I saw the original recipe for these buns on the King Arthur website, I downsized it and adapted it to the bread machine. I also did not care for the high, round buns they showed in the picture (too much bread in the middle bites), so I devised a way to make mine flatter–more like a traditional sandwich bun. Before placing the buns in boiling water, I flattened each bun with my hand. You can see a difference in the shape in the picture below.
Because these are chewy like a pretzel, I would suggest a sturdy filling, like a hamburger or a chicken breast. Chicken salad or other gooey concoctions tend to squish out all over the place when you take a bite. Just my experience. On the other hand, my husband likes to eat the buns best with no filling. He only needs a little mustard.
- 1-1/8 cup (9 ounces) warm water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (13 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
- 1-1/4 teaspoon instant or bread machine yeast
- Coarse salt
- 2 quarts water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Add all ingredients except coarse salt to bread machine in order given. Select dough cycle. Open lid and check dough after a few minutes. It should be a slightly sticky ball.
- When dough cycle completes (bread dough will rise inside machine during this cycle), remove dough from pan to a floured surface.
- Preheat conventional oven to 400 degrees F.
- Divide dough into 8 portions and make into balls. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare water bath. Add soda and salt to water and bring to a boil.
- Gently smash each ball into a flat bun-like shape. Drop each bun into your boiling water bath. Cook 30 seconds, then flip and cook another 30 seconds. They will be wrinkly as a raisin.Remove each bun to a cookie sheet covered with a silicone mat or well greased. These buns are prone to major stickage.
- Use a serrated knife or new single-edge razor blade to slice an X into each bun about ½ inch deep. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake 20-24 minutes.
- Remove buns ASAP to a cooling rack. Otherwise, they will stick. When cool, slice horizontally if using for sandwiches.