Cheddar Soft Pretzel Buns
Yes, you read that correctly, cheddar soft pretzel buns. Cheddar. Soft. Pretzel. Buns.
What we have here, dear fellows, is not just bread, which is my favorite food in the world. And not just soft pretzels, which is a subcategory of my favorite food in the world. And not just cheese, which is maybe my second favorite food in the world. But all three together. In one soft pretzel roll.
Life equals complete.
These soft pretzel buns are everything you want from a soft pretzel, without the complicated pretzel shaping process. (Actually, you'll realize pretzel shaping is not so complicated once you give it a try. But for the sake of my argument here, let's pretend it's very difficult and complex.)
And what is it that you want from a soft pretzel?
Oh, just a soft, fluffy, squishy, doughy, irresistible interior.
And just a very golden brown, toasted crispy exterior.
And just a generous sprinkling of coarse salt on top of the pretzel to bring out all the other flavors.
And just a brushing of melted butter all over the pretzel for that delicious, sweet, buttery contrast.
And in this case, also just some grated or shredded cheddar cheese baked into and dispersed throughout every pretzel.
That is all.
Now, I'm aware that the cheddar cheese inside my pretzel buns here is invisible. No orange specks are noticeable in any of the rolls in these photos. And it's as much a mystery to me as it is to you.
I guess I may have let the machine run a bit too long after I added the cheddar cheese into the dough, thus causing the dough to incorporate the cheese a little too well. But I promise, even though you can't see the cheese, it's there. My taste buds informed me quite forcibly. The cheddar is there. You'll taste it all right. You'll taste the wonderful sharp yet sweet flavor of the cheddar cheese in every single bite.
I have made classic buttery soft pretzels before. You know, the real kind. The kind that you have to shape and then boil in a mixture of water and baking soda before baking so that they get those signature ridges and indents all over.
But these cheddar soft pretzel buns are a lot easier. You get to skip the whole boiling water step here. All you have to do is prepare your dough, allow it to rise, shape the dough into 8 buns, slice an 'x' into the top of each bun, brush the tops with an egg wash, sprinkle the buns with salt, bake them for 20 minutes, and then brush each piping hot roll with melted butter as soon as you remove the tray from the oven.
Yes, you don't even need to allow these pretzel rolls to rise a second time after they're shaped. Just one hour of rising time total. And 10 minutes for preparing the actual dough. And 20 minutes of baking time. Which equals 1 hour and 30 minutes from the time you decide to make these cheddar pretzel buns to the time they're making their way down your esophagus.
Squishy, doughy, hot, buttery, fluffy, salty, sweet, toasted, cheesy, quick and easy cheddar soft pretzel buns, come at me.
cheddar soft pretzel buns
Yield: 8 buns
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 packet instant dry yeast
2 3/4 cups bread (high-gluten) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated or shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, for brushing
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
Melted butter (about 1/4 stick), for brushing
Pour warm water and sugar into bowl of machine mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit and foam for 10 minutes.
Add in the flour and salt and mix on low-medium speed for a few minutes. Add in cheddar cheese and mix till just incorporated.
Form dough into ball and place into large oiled bowl. Cover bowl and let rise in a warm spot till doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet.
Divide dough into 8 even sections on a floured or oiled surface. Shape each piece into a ball by rolling it between your work surface and your palm. Place onto baking sheet.
Gently slice an 'X' into the tops of each bun, then brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake buns for 20-22 minutes, or until more brown than golden (for that dark pretzel color).
Brush each bun with melted butter and serve.
Slightly Adapted from My Dish is Bomb