Having perfected my soft German pretzel recipe, I started wondering what else I could do with these.
Today I tried to find out. After five hours, I came out of the kitchen with this.
That’s 85/15 ground chuck from the new butcher down the street, artisanal bacon from the same butcher and Swiss cheese on a home made pretzel bun.
Not bad, if I say so myself.
Start with my soft pretzel recipe. The only difference between pretzels and buns is how you form them, so follow the pretzel recipe up to point where you let the dough double.
Instead of dividing the dough into 12 pieces, flatten it into a rough rectangle
and divide it into 8 equal pieces.
Form each piece into a ball.
Using a lame, razor or very, very sharp knife, cut a cross into the top of each bun.
Cover with a towel and let rest for 1 hour. Dough will increase about 30% in volume and the surface will dry out slightly.
Dip the buns in a hot lye solution. Follow the instructions in my pretzel recipe and make sure you follow the safety procedures. Hot lye can ruin your day.
After the lye bath, sprinkle the buns generously with kosher salt.
Bake at 400° F for 22 to 25 minutes. The buns should be a deep, mahogany brown.
To make my burgers, I took 85/15 ground chuck and added 1 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper and a TBS of fish sauce. The fish sauce boosts the “umami”, that savory, meaty, taste of the hamburgers.
After the burger patties are formed, it’s a quick 6 minute trip to my griddle and then time to eat.
The one thing I’ll do differently next time is make the patties and buns thinner and wider. This burger was great, but too tall to eat easily.