Caramelised Onion, Goat Cheese, and Sundried Tomato Pesto Pretzel Buns
- 135g milk, lukewarm
- 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 500g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 50g butter, at room temperature
- 130g light beer (Sub with water if you like)
- 4 Large white onions (about 1500g total), thinly sliced
- 115g fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 100g Filippo Berio Sundried Tomato Pesto
- To Soak: ¼ cup baked baking soda (see notes), plus 6 cups water
- 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- Pretzel Salt to finish (optional)
- Fresh Chives to Garnish (optional)
- Place the lukewarm milk, 1 Tbsp of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining sugar, flour, salt, and butter, and mix briefly to combine.
- Add the milk mixture and the beer to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough begins to come together. Increase the speed to medium, and knead for a further 15-20 minutes, until the dough is smooth and stretchy (it needs a little more kneading than you expect).
- Shape the dough into a ball, and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled in size. This initial rise can also be done in the fridge overnight (see notes).
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface (do not flour), and weigh the dough then divide into 10 equal sized balls. Shape each into a ball, then place on the bench under plastic wrap to rest. Keep covered until you are ready to use.
- Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper (see note about baking on parchment paper)
- Flatten out each dough ball slightly, then roll into a 4” circle using a rolling pin. Transfer to the prepared sheet. Repeat the rolling process with the other dough balls, leaving enough space between them to accomodate rising (5 on each sheet works well for me)
- Rise the dough rounds, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes, or until puffy, then transfer to the fridge for a further 20 minutes.
- To make the caramelised onions, place a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add about 2 Tbsp oil, and the onions, stirring to coat. Add a big pinch of salt. Reduce the heat slightly, and continue to cook the onions for a further 45 to 55 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary and stirring every few minutes. Add a little extra oil or water if needed to stop the onions drying out.
- The onions are done once they are collapsing, and dark brown in colour. They will have reduced significantly.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- To make the pretzel filling, in a medium bowl, combine 200g of the caramelised onions, the fresh goat cheese, and the Filippo Berio Sundried Tomato Pesto.
- Preheat the oven to 475°f / 245°c. In a large, shallow, nonreactive pan (I used an enamelled cast iron skillet), combine ¼ cup baked baking soda and 6 cups of water. Heat until the solution is steaming, then turn off.
- Working with one dough round at a time, carefully lift off the baking sheet, and place upside down in the solution. Soak for 10 seconds, then carefully flip over and soak for another. Remove using a slotted spatula or another flat utensil, and place onto the silicone mat lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough rounds.
- Using a lightly oiled measuring cup or the back of a round spoon, create an indentation in the middle of each of the dough rounds. Brush the edges of the dough rounds with egg wash, and then sprinkle with pretzel salt (I like to do this before adding the filling because it works out tidier). Add 2 Tbsp filling to the centre of each dough round.
- Bake the Pretzel Buns for 10-12 minutes, or until deeply golden brown, rotating the pans once during the baking process if you are baking two trays at once.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before garnishing with the chives.
- Best eaten on the day that they are made - however if you are planning on having leftovers, do not add salt to all of them as the salt can make them soggy. Rewarm briefly in the microwave if desired before eating.