My husband loves hamburgers. He could eat them 3 or 4 meals a week. And while I appreciate a good burger, I need a little variety in my life. So, when he asked me to put hamburgers on my menu even though we had just had them, I started thinking about a way to mix it up a bit. I knew I wanted to make fresh buns. And that’s when I decided that I should make pretzel buns. I looked up Alton Brown’s very popular soft pretzel recipe and then adapted it to meet my needs. I swapped out some of the white flour for whole wheat flour and added a little honey just because.
After you have mixed your dough and let it rise, you’re going to want to shape your rolls. Surface tension is important. Divide your dough into 8 equal parts. Then, make a circle with the thumb and middle finger of your non-dominant hand. Use your dominant hand to press each piece of dough up through the circle. Then pinch the bottom edges together tightly.
I flattened mine a little so they were a more appropriate size for hamburgers. If you want to use these like dinner rolls, I’d probably cut my dough into 12 sections instead of 8.
The next step is where the magic happens. This is what turns these from dinner rolls into pretzels. In a soup pot, mix together water and baking soda. Bring it to a rapid boil. Drop your shaped dough into the boiling water and boil for 20-30 seconds per side.
Drain and place on baking sheets. Sprinkle with coarse salt and use a sharp knife to slash an x in the top of each bun. You can use an egg wash, but if you sprinkle the salt right after you take them out of the water, the moisture from boiling will make the salt adhere.
Bake these rolls in an oven preheated to 425* for 12-15 minutes. They’ll be deep golden brown and chewy deliciousness.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 package instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2-2 cups all purpose flour
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
Combine the 1 1/2 cups warm water, honey and yeast. Let bloom for 5-10 minutes. Add salt, whole wheat flour and melted butter to make sponge. Let sponge rise for 30 minutes.
Using your dough hook, add all purpose flour to sponge 1/2 cup at a time. Dough will form a ball and clean the sides of the bowl. Knead 4-5 minutes. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425*.
In a small stock pot, stir together water and baking soda. Place over high heat and bring to rapid boil.
While water is coming to a boil, divide your dough into 8 equal parts. Shape each portion into a roll by pushing it through a circle made with your fingers and then pinching edges together tightly.
Drop formed rolls into boiling water and boil for 20-30 seconds per side. Drain and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and score with sharp knife.
Bake at 425* for 12-15 minutes.
If you talked to my husband, he would be the first person to tell you just how sadly technologically inept I am. This post is proof of that very fact. You see, yesterday I posted this recipe. Then, today, I opened up my browser to post a tortellini recipe and somehow wrote over my original post about making this French bread. So, here I am again, sharing this delightful bread with you. Sorry if it isn’t as entertaining as it was yesterday. It will be, however, every bit as delicious.
Start by mixing the yeast and water and letting it bloom. Then, use the paddle attachment on your mixer to incorporate the honey, oil, salt and egg. When those are well mixed, add 2 cups of flour and mix until just incorporated. Switch to the dough hook attachment and add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until you get a dough that pulls from the sides, sticks to the bottom and doesn’t stick to your finger when you touch it.
Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover this and let it rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours. The long rise time helps the inside of this bread stay nice and moist. After three hours, my dough looked like this.
Carefully remove this dough from the bowl. I just hold it in my hands and tuck the edges under continuously until I have a nice, round, taught, round loaf. Set that loaf on your baking sheet and let it rise uncovered for another hour. The outside will dry out some and that is good. That dryness helps you get a nice, crispy crust. Don’t forget to dust your baking sheet with cornmeal like I did, or you’ll have to pick your loaf up again.
Halfway through your last rise, heat your oven to 500* (or as hot as it will go). Place a pan on the oven floor while the oven heats. Use a metal pan for this, not glass (don’t ask how I know, just trust me on this one). Just before you place your dough in the oven, slice a couple of slits in the top with a sharp knife (or a razor knife). The outside may crack some and that’s just fine.
Placed this loaf in that hot oven and pour a half cup of water in the pan you preheated. Close the oven immediately. All that trapped steam will do wonders for your crispy crust. I don’t know why this works, but it does. Bake it for 10 minutes before you reduce the oven temperature to 350*. Continue baking at the lower temperature for 10-15 minutes or until the outside is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Let this cool as long as you can before slicing with a serrated knife. Its good just like this. It’s even better toasted with some nutella, but I only do that after the kids are in bed. Usually I serve it alongside a piping hot soup or a hearty bowl of pasta.
1 package instant dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
Stir together yeast and water. Allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes.
Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, stir in the honey, oil, egg and salt. Mix until completely incorporated. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until just combined.
Switch to the dough hook mixer attachment. Add more flour 1/4 cup at a time. Mix in just enough flour to form a dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl, but still sticks to the bottom. It should not stick to your finger when you touch it. I used about 3 1/2 cups total. Knead this dough for 5 minutes.
Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
Carefully remove from bowl and form loaf by tucking edges under and shaping into a ball. Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Let rise uncovered for 1 hour.
About halfway through the rise, preheat your oven to 500* and place a tall sided metal pan on the oven floor.
Just before baking, slice 2-3 slits in the top of your loaf with a sharp knife (or razor knife). Place baking sheet in hot oven and pour 1/2 cup water in the preheated pan on the oven floor. Close oven door immediately. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350* and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped.
You may start to notice that I make a lot of breakfast breads. I cook them both for my Sunday school class and also for my MOPS meetings. Today’s banana oatmeal muffins will travel with me to the first MOPS meeting of the year tomorrow. For two blessed hours, someone else will watch our children while we gather as women and nourish each others souls and stomachs. These really are easy to whip up, and aside from the stick of butter, not terribly bad for you.
Start by mixing up two really ripe bananas with a stick of softened butter and a 1/2 cup of sugar. I like to do this with a fork so that I can mash the banana up some, but still leave some chunks. It will look curdled, so don’t throw it out when you see this.
Add in a couple of eggs, some vanilla and buttermilk. Then add your flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir just until everything is incorporated. The more you stir it, the tougher and drier your muffins will be.
Scoop this slightly sticky batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. If you want them to come out of the pan perfectly (or if you aren’t using a silicone muffin tin), go ahead and spray with no stick spray or use muffin liners.
Bake for 15 minutes. They’ll puff up some, get ever so slightly brown and maybe even crack just a bit. Your house will smell like heaven. It will be hard, but let them cool before you remove them and start eating. They taste great, but it isn’t worth burning your hands and mouth (trust me, this is experience speaking). Besides, if you scorch your tastebuds with the first bite, you’ll miss out on the rest of that muffin (and the other 11, if you’re anything like me).
2 very ripe bananas
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400*. Grease 12 muffin cups (or line with paper liners).
Mash together banana and butter with a fork. Stir in sugar (mixture will look curdled). Add in eggs, buttermilk* and vanilla. Add oatmeal, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir just until combined.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pans.
*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk or add 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your measuring cup and fill to the 1/2 cup mark with milk.
Lots of people in the United States are sending their kids back to school today. My daughter is actually starting her 3rd week of first grade and I’m almost past wanting to cry when I drop her off. Every day except Friday I pack her lunch. Every day I offer peanut butter and jelly as a sandwich option and secretly hope that’s what she will choose. I mean, who doesn’t love sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly sandwiched between two slices of whole wheat bread? My daughter, that’s who. Peanut butter has never really been a favorite food of hers. It is one of mine though, and these muffins make it easy to share that love with in a format that is both portable and more refined than sandwich triangles. Peanut butter and jelly for breakfast? Yes, please.These super easy muffins start by mixing up a whole wheat batter packed with peanut butter flavor. It will be super thick, almost like drop biscuit dough. You use half the batter to partially fill 12 regular size muffin cups. Then, add a generous dollop of your favorite jelly or jam – I used seedless blackberry jam this time, but strawberry is excellent too. Then, top the jam with more batter. Before they go in the oven, they’ll look something like this.
If you’re not using a silicone muffin pan, you definitely want to use cupcake liners or grease your muffin tins before you start filling them up. Make sure you let the muffins cool before you take them out. You don’t want them to fall apart. This is one of the few times I make muffins and serve them room temperature rather than piping hot.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk*
1/3 cup honey**
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup jelly or jam
Preheat oven to 350*. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or lining with paper cupcake liners. Stir together flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, honey, peanut butter and melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Fill 12 muffin cups about 1/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter). Since batter is so thick, you may need to use your fingers to press it out until it covers the bottom of the muffin cup. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of jelly into the center of each muffin cup. Top with remaining batter. It is ok to fill your muffin cups to the top. Make sure the batter covers the jelly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned on top. Remove pans from oven and let muffins cool completely before removing from pans.
*If you do not have buttermilk, you can add 2 teaspoons white vinegar to your measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup line with regular milk and let sit for two minutes. Or, you can just use regular milk.
**This batter is more savory than sweet. I like the balance of savory muffin and sweet jam filling. However, if you would like a sweeter muffin, go ahead and double the amount of honey or add a few Tablespoons of white sugar.