DSCN0267I’m at the part of winter where I pretty much ask Trevor everyday if we can move somewhere else. I’ve so far floated Denver and California past him, but he’s not biting.

We’re here – in the frigid, face-biting temperatures of upstate New York. Once Spring hits, the sunshine returns and our cabin fever breaks, we’ll be a little less stir-crazy.

For now, let’s just pretend its spring and we don’t have almost four feet of snow in our backyard. This weekend, Trevor suggested we grill some burgers and I was all in. I’d made these pretzel rolls before, but making them sliders was just fun. The kids liked the ideas of mini burgers and they really were like a little slice of summer. 

Pretzel Slider Buns
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk
  2. 1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  3. 1 1/4 tsp. (half a 1/4-ounce or 7-gram packet) active dry yeast
  4. 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to coat bowl
  5. 2 cups flour, either all-purpose or bread flour, or a mix thereof, plus extra for dusting
  6. 1 tsp. fine sea or table salt
  7. 1/2 cup water
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
  10. Pretzel or coarse salt
Instructions
  1. Warm milk and sugar together until they’re about 105 to 110°F in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have a thermometer, the correct temperature is when you can dip your finger into the liquid without noticing any temperature change (i.e. not warmer or cooler than your finger). Add yeast to milk-sugar mixture and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes. It should dissolve and become slightly foamy.
  2. Stir in butter, then 3/4 of flour, the salt, then remaining flour. Using spoon (for manual mixing) or dough hook (of a stand mixer), mix the dough until it forms a slightly sticky dough that balls together. If making by hand, turn out onto a floured counter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If using a machine, let the dough hook do the work, running it for 5 minutes on low. If, at the end of the kneading process, the dough still feels quite sticky (a little sticky is good; more tips here), add 1 more tablespoon flour.
  3. First rise: With kneaded dough on counter, butter or oil your mixing bowl. Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free warmish spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Second rise: Butter an 8×8-inch square or equivalent size baking pan (such as a 9-inch round cake pan or deep-dish pie plate). Flour your counter and let dough fall out onto it. I like to take advantage of the round shape left by the bowl to divide my dough into even-enough wedges, like slices of a pie. Divide into 8-10 pieces. Form each into a round. Arrange seam side-down in prepared pan, with an even amount of space between rolls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. Bring your water to a boil and slowly stir in baking soda — it will foam up.
  6. Thoroughly brush tops and creases between rolls (as best as your brush can get in) with the soda pretzel wash. Rinse brush and beat your egg with 1 tsp. water. Brush the rolls a second time, this time with the egg wash. Sprinkle rolls with either sesame seeds or coarse salt. Use a sharp paring knife to make +-sign slashes in the top of each roll; you want to cut at least 1/2-inch down (I always make my cuts too shallow and they get lost when baked).
  7. Bake: Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until a lovely brown on top. Let cool in pan on rack.
Christen in the Kitchen http://christeninthekitchen.com/