The other day my family went to a birthday party. The party was at a baseball game for the Chicago Dogs. They are an independent baseball team located right by O’hare airport. It was the cutest birthday party. The kids got to play catch on the field before the game, they all got a baseball hat and everyone got a hotdog, chips and a drink. It really felt like summer. Going to baseball games has been a summer tradition that my family has been doing as long as I can remember. Go Cards! Everyone always had their favorite ballpark snack. My mom and dad always ate brats, my sisters were either hot dog or cheese nacho fans (you know that bright yellow ballpark cheese I’m talking about) and I’ve always been all about the soft pretzel. These pretzel buns are perfect for a cookout at home and would make the perfect bun for a summer burger. I made mine pretty small so that my boys could use them for sandwiches or just grab one for a snack. You could also shape them into a longer bun for your grilled hotdog or bratwurst. I’m not sure if you, like me, during quarantine you also became very invested in sourdough, but if you did, this is a great way to use some of your discard. Sometimes, my family gets tired of sourdough loaves and this a great change of pace. I hope you are having many cookouts this summer and will give these buns a try.
The recipe that I used for these buns had all the measurements in grams. I used my food scale to measure out all my ingredients. This has become my go to method for measuring when making breads. It really helps to make sure my flour is measured correctly. It keeps me from adding too much and having a very dense dough. The scale that I have is inexpensive from amazon and it is by Escali. I like that it is glass and easy to wipe off when I’m finished using it.
The ingredients for this recipe are – 250 grams of milk 110 F degrees, 100 grams of sourdough starter discard (unfed sourdough starter), 500 grams of bread flour, 50 grams of granulated sugar, 2 room temperature egg yolks, 100 grams of softened but not melted butter, 7 grams of instant yeast (1 packet), 10 grams of salt, 57 grams of baking soda, flaky salt for topping and olive oil spray
After the dough proofed, I dumped it onto my dough mat and weighed it. My dough weighed about 1120 g, so I began dividing my dough into roughly 75 g pieces so that I could make 15 buns. As you can see from the picture, all of my pieces were different shapes and made up of lots of different cuts of dough. So again, this dough is very forgiving. I took each piece and worked the pieces together a little but and then I placed my hand over it like a cage, with my fingers on the counter and a little pressure from my palm on the top of the dough. Then, I moved my hand in a circular motion to cream a sphere of dough with some tension on the edges of the sphere. After each piece was shaped, I placed the same piece of plastic wrap over them to let them rise for 30 minutes on the dough mat.
While they were rising, I preheated the oven to 350 F degrees and I brought a pot of water to boil on the stove. Once it was bubbling, I added the baking soda to the water. This makes the water bubble pretty ferociously, so make sure you have enough room in your pot. Then, I added 3 pieces of dough to the water for 15 seconds, then I flipped each piece and let them boil for another 15 seconds. I removed the dough from the water with a spider and put them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Immediately I sprinkled the tops with flakey sea salt. I repeated the process of boiling the dough for each bun and topping with salt. Then I used a sharp knife to slash the top of each bun (but…I forgot that picture of course).
I put the buns into the oven for 22 minutes. I made sure to watch them pretty closely around the 18-20 minute mark. That is when mine started to brown and I didn’t want them to burn. I checked that the internal temperature of the rolls was at least 190 F degrees.
Recipe: Sourdough Pretzel Rolls
Ingredients: *I used a food scale to measure all the ingredients for this recipe*
- 250 grams of milk 110 F degrees
- 100 grams of sourdough starter discard (unfed sourdough starter)
- 500 grams of bread flour
- 50 grams of granulated sugar
- 2 room temperature egg yolks
- 100 grams of softened but not melted butter
- 7 grams of instant yeast (1 packet)
- 10 grams of salt
- 57 grams of baking soda
- flaky salt for topping
- olive oil spray
- Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until it reaches 110 F degrees.
- Combine the warm milk, yeast and sugar together in a stand mixer bowl and gently incorporate so that the yeast and sugar are dissolved in the milk.
- Add the flour, sourdough discard, egg yolks, butter and salt to the bowl and use the dough hook mix and form a shaggy dough.
- Turn the speed up a little and knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes in the stand mixer. The dough will be silky and completely come away from the sides of the bowl when it’s done. There should be no stickiness at all.
- Spray the sides of the bowl with olive oil and the top of the dough. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and set aside for around an hour to rise, you can also use the proofing setting in your oven.
- Once the dough has doubled, transfer it to your kitchen counter for shaping. If you are able to, weigh your dough. Divide the weight of the dough by the number of buns you want. Then you’ll know how big to make each bun. my dough weighed about 1120 g. I made 15 smaller buns from this recipe and each bun is around 75 g.
- Divide the dough into 15 evenly weighed pieces.
- Shape each piece into a bun. Pull the edges into the centre to form a rounded top and then place each piece on the counter and roll to shape. Place your hand like a cage over the top of the dough and move your hand around in a counterclockwise direction with a little pressure. The dough should come together in a sphere shape and there should be a little tension on the edges of the dough.
- Place your buns on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cover with a plastic bag or wrap. Set aside to rise for around 30 minutes. They will be plump and round when they’re ready to bake.
- While the dough rises, preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. When it boils add the baking soda.
- Place 3 rolls into the boiling water at a time. After 15 seconds flip the rolls over and boil for another 15 seconds. Remove the rolls from the water with a spider or slotted spoon and place the rolls back on the parchment lined tray and immediately sprinkle flaky salt on top. Continue until you have boiled all the buns. Slash the tops of each bun right before placing into the oven.
- Bake for around 22 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 190 F degrees. They burn very easily so keep an eye on them.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe adapted from The Pantry Mama