Pretzel Hot Dog Bun

Recipe: Pretzel Hot Dog Bun

This pretzel bun recipe rocks!  The are salty, soft and luscious.  We use Applegate Farms Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog for the best tasting dogs around.

Pretzel hot dog buns

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 tablespoon garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup baking soda
Pretzel salt or coarse ground sea salt, for sprinkling

In a small saucepan, set to medium, heat the milk, brown sugar and honey, to about 150° (do use a thermometer) remove from heat, add the butter and garlic. Stir occasionally, until the butter is melted. Mixture will clump up a little, that’s okay.

In a stand mixer sprinkle yeast over the water mixture and wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast blooms.

Combine the all-purpose flour and bread flour in a mixing bowl.  Then add flour mixture to the bowl with the yeast mixture, pour in melted butter and garlic mixture. Mix on medium speed until the dough has come together and is smooth and elastic in texture and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with silicone mats. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board and form into a ball. Cut into 4 equal pieces, and then cut those in half to form 8 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a ball and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Cover with a dish cloth and let them rest in a warm place for 12 to 15 minutes.

Once rested, lightly dust your work surface again and roll the balls into 7-inch logs. Place onto the other prepared baking sheet, cover, place back in the warm spot and let rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place one oven rack high and one low. Line 2 more baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil, and then add the baking soda. In batches, place the dough in the water and cook for 30 seconds on each side. (Don’t fill the pan, with water, adding the baking soda will make it boil over.  Be careful.)

Using a slotted spatula, remove the pretzel rounds and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the pretzel rounds with course seasalt as they come out of the water, to ensure the salt sticks. Then cut 3 diagonal slits on top of the bread, not too deep.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating between the top and bottom racks of the oven halfway through the cooking.

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English Muffin Recipe

English MuffinsRecipe: English Muffins
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Weather: Cloudy, rainy, intermittent rain
Temperature: Indoors 70 °F, Outside 58.7 F
Humidity: Indoors 39%, Outside 58%
Barometric Pressure: 26.15 inHg
Baking Time: 0
Baking Temperature: °F
Customization:  I added about a tablespoon extra of water, 1/2 teaspoon more Real Salt. I also dropped the temperature down from 325 to 300.  They took a little longer but they felt better.

Cook half of the dough as English muffins and the other half as English-muffin bread!


  • English Muffins2 (1/4-oz.) pkgs, active dry yeast (2 Tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110F)
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-1-2 to 6 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • cornmeal

In large bowl of electric mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in water.  Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.  Add milk, honey, butter, salt and 2 cups flour.  Beat at medium speed with electric mixer 2 minutes or, beat 200 vigorous strokes by hand.

Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Clean and grease bowl;  set aside.  Knead dough 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a slightly damp towel.  Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until slightly more than doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Generously sprinkle cornmeal over 2 greased baking sheets; set aside.

Do not punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until 1/2 inch thick.  Use a 3-inch cutter to cut dough into rounds.  Place on prepared baking over tops of rounds.  Place on prepared baking sheets. Gather up remaining dough; reroll and cut into rounds.

Generously sprinkle cornmeal over tops of rounds.  Lightly press cornmeal into surface of each round. Cover rounds with waxed paper.  Let rise until doubled in bulk, 30 to 45 minutes.  Preheat a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat or, preheat electric griddle or skillet to 325 F.  Sprinkle cornmeal over griddle.  Do not grease. Bake muffins on hot griddle or skillet.  Use 2 forks to split muffins.  Toast before serving.  Makes about 20 English muffins.


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Tricky Sourdough Bread

I’ve had quite the time trying to come up with just the right texture and taste combination for sourdough bread.  You might think, “Hey, what’s the big deal?”, but it’s really tricky getting any bread to turn out consistently at this elevation and the precipitation plays a big part in that.

Whenever it rains, my oven takes longer to heat up, and bread may or may not turn out at all.  I’ll give you an example. [Here’s the recipe]

Once you have a healthy, refreshed starter (see recipe for “Sourdough Starter Refreshment”), the bread will take about 24 hours (over the course of two days) before it is ready for baking. It is best to start the recipe in the morning, no more than 12 hours after the last feeding of the starter.

I started baking Thursday evening about 9 p.m. or so.  I was supposed to mix some flour and some water into my starter and let it rise until doubled, “two or three hours”.

MAKE THE SPONGE: In bowl or container with at least 1-quart capacity, use rubber spatula to stir together starter and water until fully combined. Stir in flour until combined; mixture should resemble thick pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (about 72 degrees) until doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.

Now, mind you, there’s no commercial yeast in the mixture.  It’s just sourdough starter, flour and water.  I left it on the table to rise. It took all night and half the next day to double in bulk.

LET THE DOUGH RISE: Lightly spray container or bowl with at least 4-quart capacity with nonstick cooking spray; place dough in container and lightly spray surface of dough. Take internal temperature of dough; then cover tightly with plastic wrap. If temperature registered below 78 degrees, set container at room temperature (about 70 degrees) in draft-free spot; if warmer than 78 degrees, set container at cool room temperature (about 65 degrees) in draft-free spot. Let stand until dough doubles in bulk, 3 to 5 hours.

Then it got tricky.  I took my dough’s temperature. It was 68 F. I sat the dough on the counter until the next day before it had doubled in bulk.  It took me four days to make two loaves a bread!  I must be crazy.  The bread was good, but I don’t always have 4 days to wait.

I’ve got three recipes for sandwich sourdough bread, which is what I really want.  I love the taste of it, and it’s great as toast, which I love with eggs.  Just a few more months and I should have eggs from my very own chickens.

The bread is good.  Try the recipe. If you aren’t at 4,000 feet it should work fine.  🙂

Honey Butter

Have you ever wanted some sweet creamy honey butter, and didn’t get it quite right?  This recipe is so simple and yet so delicious.  Make ahead, store in the fridge.


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process all ingredients until creamy.  Spoon into a small serving bowl.  Cover and refrigerate.  Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.  Makes about 3/4 cup.

Whole Wheat & Honey

Recipe: Whole Wheat & Honey Bread
Time: 2:45 p.m.
Weather: Nice
Temperature: outside 56.2°F, inside 77F
Humidity: outside 81%, inside 45%
Barometric Pressure: 26.21inHg
Baking Time: 25 minutes
Baking Temperature: 350°F
Customizations: none

Honey Wheat BreatIngredients:

1 C. milk
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. dry yeast
1 C. warm water
1/3 C. honey
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 C. wheat germ
4-5 C. bread flour
1 C. whole wheat flour


Scald milk, stir in butter until melted.  Cool to lukewarm (105°). In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add milk mixture, 2 cups of bread flour and the remaining ingredients.  Beat at medium speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping bowl often.  Stir in remaining flour, enough to make dough easy to handle. Knead about 10 minutes. Cover and let rise until double in size.

Shape into two 9×5 loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until double in size.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes and remove from pans immediately.  Brush tops with butter.

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