Football Feedings 2012 Week 9: Pretzel Bunned Bratwurts

Okay after a week away, I’m back to share some super cool food secrets that will help you get by on Saturdays.  This week I’m keeping things simple by whipping up some tasty bratwursts.  The twist this time will be in the buns.  I’m making a pretzel based bun that will multiply the flavor.  Of course, I have some beer to wash it down and in the same vein of this German delicacy, this will be done with Shiner Bock’s Oktoberfest.  Ho boy just in time for the end on the month and we are celebrating.  Grab some flour and lederhosen.

Initial Ingredients

Bread Ingredients

  • 1 cup water (110-120 degrees)
  • 2 ¼ tsp yeast
  • 2 Tbsp room temperature milk
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups bread flour

Wash Ingredients

  • 4 quarts water
  • ½ cup baking soda

Toppings Ingredients

  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Cooking Instructions

Add yeast, water, milk, brown sugar and butter into a large bowl, whisking until all ingredients are combined.  Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for yeast to activate.  Mix in kosher salt.  Start by adding two cups of the flour to the bowl, combining it with other ingredients.  Add more flour as it’s needed, reserving just a bit for coating the dough mat later.

The dough should form a slightly tacky, but firm ball.  Oil the bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand or machine for at least 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and satiny.  Place dough back in the bowl and recover for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it.  Form 6 two separate bun shaped balls of dough.  Drop one of the smaller balls into the baking soda bath for no longer than 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered.  Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough.

Sprinkle the kosher salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and make sure to use a knife to cut a small incision on the top of the bread so the dough has somewhere to expand.

Cook the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.

Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust.

Open the bratwurst package and heat it up on your favorite grill.  Be sure it’s hot all the way through and brown the edges.  Once it’s cooked, slice open the buns and place the bratwursts in.  Go ahead and serve with the suggested condiments or roll your own.

How did it work out for me?  Welp, it was tasty.  I had some great condiments to go with it but it was the Shiner Oktoberfest that really put it over the top.  There’s a hint of sweetness involved in the beer that worked well with the tangy flavor of the brat and the sauerkraut.  The buns were tricky though.  They were shaped almost like a bun but the brat kept slidding out.  It was definitely the hardest part of eating.  Once I figured that out, the combination and tangy and smooth made a great meal.