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Pretzel Buns

This is our go-to bun recipe when we have a hankering for a pulled pork sandwich. There’s a bit of fiddling around involved in making these buns that includes dipping the formed dough balls into a boiling water bath for a few seconds before baking on the grill. The addition of baking soda to the pre-bake, boiling water bath is the secret that creates the attractive deep golden brown color of these pretzel buns. The resulting crust on the bun has a slight chewy texture allowing the bun to stand up well when loaded with pulled pork, coleslaw and our own homemade Mustard Based BBQ Sauce. This pretzel bun will never fall apart on you, yet the inside of the bun always remains soft and tender.

Yield:12 buns
Preparation
1. Combine 6 C of flour, salt and the instant yeast in a large bread bowl. Reserve the rest of the flour for later use.

2. Pour the warm water into a measuring cup. The water should not feel hot – just slightly warm against the inside of your wrist. Add the melted butter into the warm water and then combine this mixture with the dry ingredients to form somewhat sticky dough.

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean and well-floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until the dough becomes elastic and smooth. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes by hand.

4. Place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl that is large enough to accommodate the dough when it has doubled in bulk. Coat the dough ball lightly with cooking oil.

5. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm and draft free location until doubled in bulk (1 – 1 ½ hours).

6. Punch the dough down and knead to remove most of the air from the dough. Do this quickly. Divide the dough in half. Form 12 evenly sized dough balls and place them on parchment covered baking sheets. Cover loosely and set aside for another 15 minutes.

7. In the meantime preheat the Memphis Grill to 375° F.

8. In a large pot mix together the water, salt and baking soda and bring this mixture to a boil over high heat.

9. Drop three or four balls at a time into the boiling bath for 30 seconds, flip them over and continue to boil them for another 30 seconds. Remove from the boiling bath and place the dough balls back on the baking sheets. Leave enough room around each ball to allow it to rise and not touch the other buns during the baking period. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.

10. Using a sharp knife slash the top of each bun diagonally, twice (about ¼” deep).

11. Brush the top of each bun with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a few kosher salt flakes.

12. Bake on the grill, away from direct heat, with the lid down for 20 – 25 minutes until the buns turn a rich brown color.

Ingredients
Ingredients for the Buns
• 6 ½ - 8 C unbleached flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 T instant yeast (one small packet)
• 3 ½ cups warm water
• 2 T melted butter
• 1 egg, beaten
• Kosher salt flakes
Ingredients for the Pre-bake Water Bath
• 3 quarts water
• 1 T salt
• 1/4 cup baking soda
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