School Lunches

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pretzel Buns

It's getting to be that time of January where holiday leftovers are long gone, my refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, and my kitchen pantry is in desperate need of restocking. Unfortunately, the last thing I want to do on these cold winter days is bundle of three kids and head out to get groceries after work. So it was time to dig some chicken breasts out of the freezer and dig through the back of the pantry to find something new I could throw together.

I'm a sucker for a good chicken sandwich. It's my go-to on almost any menu and I always 'add this/remove that' until it is customized to a chicken sandwich with Swiss cheese and bacon. Boring, I know. However, that's exactly what I was in the mood for tonight. Unfortunately, we were out of buns... really, we were out of all bread except two pieces of sandwich bread that I was saving for my daughter's school lunch tomorrow. After brainstorming for a bit, I decided to look up a recipe for pretzel buns. There it was... on the first line of my first Pinterest search.... It's like it was calling out my name "Michele... don't look any further... I'm the one you want". Because that's exactly what I do - I find a great idea to try out, but then I keep looking and keep looking, wasting tons of time, always thinking there has got to be one that's just a little better. Well, this time I didn't look any further and it was a good thing because this recipe was AMAZING! I've made a good amount of dough over the years (bread, pizza dough, and the occasional homemade pretzel) but this dough was the softest, silkiest, most elastic dough I've ever made.

HERE is the amazing pretzel bun recipe from 'My Life as a Mrs' blog.

I will admit I was in a hurry trying to throw this together during the kids' snack time, then cooking the rolls as I was getting the kids bundled up and ready for parents to pick them up before I had to pick my daughter up from preschool. That means two things 1) This really is an easy recipe 2) My pictures were rushed and not very impressive. However, I'm trying to get into the practice of documenting each step to start doing more detailed tutorials so bear with me.

 Combine water, yeast, and sugar for 5-10 minutes (until foamy)

Add flour, salt, and melted butter and mix with dough hook until combined. Then cover to rise for one hour. 

Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Stretch dough to form ball and pinch together at the bottom. Place seam side down and let rise for 30 minutes. 

Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, add baking soda, and return to heat. Then poach buns (2-3 at a time) for 30 seconds on each side. 

Apply egg wash to each bun. Use sharp knife to cut 1-2 slits in the top. Sprinkle with course salt (I used sea salt). 

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.

 Aren't they beautiful!? Now you just have to decide if you would rather just eat them or slice them and fill them with other yummy things (like chicken, burger, deli meat....)

There it is - my chicken, bacon, swiss sandwich. It's safe to say tonight the bun stole the show. 

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