Friday, September 20, 2013

Pretzel Buns

Disclaimer - This post is about the proliferation of pretzel buns in US restaurants.
If you are looking to purchase pretzel buns, this is the link you are looking for.

If you would like to learn about the history of the pretzel, go here.
 

Have you ever noticed that certain foods in restaurants tend to crop up as a fad?  Prior to the last month or two, I had never heard of nor had I imagined eating a sandwich on a pretzel.  Now I can't surf the TV Channels without running into a commercial that doesn't feature a sandwich on a pretzel bun.  It's like the head buyers in all of the restaurants went to some kind of trade show and latched onto the pretzel bun as the next big thing.  This year the guy at the pretzel bun booth must have made a pretty big splash because he convinced nearly every restaurant in the United States that they had to add pretzel buns to their menu.



Of course, I understand. What's not to like about a pretzel with all of it's warm, delicious, yummieness? But I am going to have to deduct points for originality.  In the last hour, I have seen pretzel buns at Ruby Tuesday, Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts, and Sonics.



Are you hungry for a pretzel bun sandwich yet?  Here is another commercial for you.


Seeing all of these pretzel buns made me wonder if all of the restaurants purchase their buns from the same supplier?

A little research leads me to believe that there are multiple vendors who sell pretzel buns including.


If you are interested in making your own pretzel buns, here is a recipe for you.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F) 
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) 
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface 
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling 
  • 6 cups water 
  • 1/4 cup baking soda 


 INSTRUCTIONS Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside to rest until the mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.) Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with a thin layer of vegetable oil and set aside. Place the flour, sugar, and measured salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps and combine. Once the yeast is ready, fit the bowl on the mixer, attach a dough hook, and dump in the flour mixture. Mix on the lowest setting until the dough comes together, then increase to medium speed and mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, place in the oiled mixing bowl, and turn the dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel and let rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 30 to 35 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat the paper with vegetable oil, and set aside. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Once the rolls have risen, stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle well with salt and repeat with the remaining rolls. Once all the rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

1 comment:

commodore.scribbles said...

I kind of want to try something with pretzel buns... but at the same time, I'm kind of afraid to because it looks just weird enough. I guess it must be pretty good if so many people are doing it.