A luxurious brioche dough prepared like a pretzel. This bread both rises, and then is boiled like a pretzel, which takes time. However, it is worth it. Elevate your sandwich or serve alone for pure indulgence. And a bonus, this bread is just as extraordinary reheated later.
Prep Time: 1 hour (minus rise time) Yield: 12 rolls
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp warm milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 ounces light brown sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Approximately 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Kosher or finishing salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling on buns before baking
2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup baking soda
In a large bowl of a standing mixer, mix 1/3 cup of the warm water with the yeast, hand whisk for a few seconds, then let sit until foamy.
Add the remaining cup of warm water, milk, vanilla, egg, brown sugar, and melted butter. Hand whisk again to incorporate ingredients.
Adding dough hook to mixer, beginning mixing liquid ingredients on medium speed, incorporating flour until sides of bowl are clean and dough pulls away from bowl. Add more flour if necessary until it forms a firm yet pliable dough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes.
Roll into a 2 foot long log and cut into 12 equal pieces.
Cover dough with plastic wrap, then a damp cloth, and let sit for ten minutes.
Form dough into rolls, placing an inch a part on a lightly floured surface, covering with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let dough rest and rise another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil two half pan or one whole baking sheet.
In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a boil and add baking soda.
Drop two rolls into the boiling water. Boil for 15 seconds, then flip to boil the other side for an additional 15 seconds. (A chop stick works well to flip the bun over in the water),
Carefully remove the buns with a slotted spoon and let drain over pot. Place on oiled baking sheets. Proceed with the rest of the buns. Cut cross in the center of the buns with sharp knife or baker's blade lame. Sprinkle lightly with finishing salt.
Bake approximately 10-12 minutes, or until brown and puffed.