Herb and Garlic Pretzel Buns
Bread can be a lot of fun to make if you have the time and inclination. It shouldn't be a chore or a must do because that just sucks the joy out of it. Have a play with the dough, experiment with different flours and flavourings, you might surprise yourself with what you come up with!
This recipe is very versatile and can be used to make regular pretzels, pretzel bites or these buns. The only change to the recipe is that the second rise time isn't necessary for the bites and can be reduced for pretzels.
Use these buns for the vegan chicken burgers and you will know that you have made good life choices up to this point in time. They work so well together.
This recipe is for 8 buns because they are just too good not to make a ton! Obviously, reduce the measurements as necessary.
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 4 cups of white flour
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tbsp (divided) melted vegan margarine
- About a tsp each of basil and oregano (or any herbs that you are fond of)
- About 2 tsp of rock salt
- About a cup of baking soda
- Water for boiling
- In a small bowl combine the warm water, sugar, yeast, and salt. Let sit until it is nice and foamy (about as long as it takes to mix the dry ingredients).
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, garlic and one tbsp of the margarine. Add the yeast mixture and knead for about 5-7 minutes until you have a smooth and slightly sticky ball. If you need to add more flour or water, do so 1 tbsp at a time - it's just a safety precaution!
- Throw the ball back into the larger ball (coat it in oil if you want to prevent sticking) and cover it with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Take the ball out of the bowl, play with it a bit more, and divide it into eight balls. Knead each ball in your hands for a few seconds and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel (you could totally use the same one again, so do, don't be silly) and let rise in a warm spot for another hour or so.
- Once the second rise is nearly over, bring a large soup pot full of water to a rolling bowl. Slowly (and I mean like a teaspoon at a time slow) add the baking soda. Each time you add the baking soda the water will get a bit grumpy and you risk a boil over; put just enough in so that this doesn't happen. You will know when you have enough baking soda when it takes a long time for the water to 'settle' again. You will see what I mean when you do it. Real pretzels use lye, but I am too scared to try that. The baking soda is a pretty good substitute that isn't corrosive.
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Plop 2 or 3 balls into the water and boil for a few minutes on each side until they are nice and plump. Repeat until all have been boiled.
- Put the buns back onto the baking sheet and drizzle with melted margarine, rock salt and dried herbs.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on them as baking times can vary.
- Let cool on a wire rack completely before serving.