1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 package dry yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 1/2 cups flour
olive oil to grease the bowl
3 quarts water
2/3 cups baking soda
Mix together the water, yeast and sugar.
Pour melted butter and yeast mixture into your stand mixer (with dough hook attached) and allow it to sit for a five minutes.
Mix the salt in with the flour.
Turn the mixer on low and begin to add the flour slowly until it is completely added. If the dough is still sticky you may need to add some more.
This is still sticky, it is not separating from the bowl.
This is perfect, it is separating from the bowl and in one piece. Allow the dough hook to knead the dough for 5 minutes.
Remove dough from mixer and place in a large bowl that is greased.
Cover and set in a warm spot. With the warm weather it is great you set it outside! (don't let it be in too hot of a place though or else it will start to cook) Set your timer for 1 hour and walk away.
When your timer goes off it will look like this! Doubled in size. It is magic!
Preheat your oven to 425 and begin to boil 3 quarts of water in a pot.
You can make this dough into regular sized big soft pretzels by cutting into 8 segments and shaping into size. The buns I was making need to be cut into 16 pieces so cut into 8 and then cut again in half.
For it to be a bun, you want to roll into into short, fat pieces and then shape into a pretzel that has very little spaces between it. Once it cooks, it will look like a pretzel but will be cooked together for your roll.
Shape them all and by now your water should be boiling and your oven should be hot.
Slowly pour the 2/3 cup of baking soda into the water, it will begin to fizz but will calm down quickly.
Drop 2-3 rolls in the water and spoon the hot water over them for 30 seconds. Remove and set on your baking sheet. Do this until all the rolls have been boiled.
Sprinkle with kosher salt. (in case you are wondering, I made 1 big pretzel and then did the rest in a bun size.)
Place in the oven for 15-18 minutes. (you may want to rotate your pans half way so that the top rack pan can go to the bottom, and the bottom pan can go to the top).
They come out of the oven gloriously! Allow them to cool for a bit before serving.
I like to slice mine in half and then put it in the toaster before making it into a sandwich. If you do not need them all at once, place in the freezer once they are completely cooled and you can bring them out whenever you want one!