feasting with friends

Pretzel Burger Buns & Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Pretzel Bun BurgerIt seems as if pretzel rolls are popping up everywhere. In the grocery store, at the deli, at the farmer’s market and now, even at fast-food restaurants. I’ve bought pretzel rolls at my local grocery store in the past, but at $3.99 for a package of 4, it seemed a little pricey for basically a cup or two of flour and a little yeast! So I went on a mission to make my own.  I’ve been making homemade pretzels for quite awhile. They are so easy to make, I figured if I was able to make the traditional twisted pretzel, I could certainly make a “roll” pretzel. And make them I did! I’m still working on the size factor of these little devils. It seems I always misjudge how much they will rise. But a large bun certainly doesn’t affect the taste! The best thing about making your own pretzel buns is the fact you can make them any shape you like. Hamburger buns, slider buns, hot dog buns – the possibilities are endless. I searched a lot of different recipes before diving in my pretzel bun mission. The recipe I settled on was from Guy Fieri. After all, his first “restaurant” was a pretzel stand. Apparently that was way back in his pre-teen days. In my opinion, Guy has nailed it. Most recipes I found created round balls of pretzel, and I’m a stickler for the meat to bun ratio. You have to be able to fit in in your mouth – too round of a bun, and it just won’t fit!  Guy’s recipe has the right ratio of flour/yeast and rising time to allow a slightly domed, yet more flattened version. The recipe is for 4 large hoagie/sub rolls. I simply altered it by dividing the dough in more pieces. I split the dough in 6 portions, but next time I’ll go with 8, as they were quite large buns. Live and learn 🙂

Link to Guy Fieri’s recipe : http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/pretzel-rolls-recipe/index.html

Pretzel Buns

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
Canola oil, for the bowl
Cooking spray
1/3 cup baking soda
Put 1 cup warm water (110 – 115° F) in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside to bloom, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook on the lowest setting until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.
Pretzel roll dough forming
Form the dough into a ball, place in a large oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 35 minutes. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat, coat generously with cooking spray and set aside.
Dough ready for 1st rise
Punch down the dough, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead just until the dough is smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide into 8 pieces and form into 2 1/2″ rolls. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet and cut two diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel or cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425° F and bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Pretzel rolls - 2nd rise
Stir the baking soda into the boiling water (it will foam up slightly). Add 2 rolls and poach 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain and place on the baking sheet, cut-side up. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
Pretzel rolls poaching
Bake the rolls until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet.

Pretzel Buns

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

For the BEST ever, oven baked, Sweet Potato Fries check out this post at http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/guaranteed-crispy-sweet-potato-fries-sriracha-mayo-dip/

I’ve made these many times, and they are fail proof! Absolutely delicious! And oh so crispy…they taste as if they’ve been deep-fried, and they’re not. The secret is in the half day soak in water then a corn starch/olive oil coating to bake.

Everyone in the pool for a 1/2 day soak.

Everyone in the pool for a 1/2 day soak.

Viola! My finished product.

Viola! My finished product. [The dipping sauce recipe is at the site too.]


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