Then there are dishes like these poached egg and crispy pancetta pretzel buns. The kind that doesn’t give you enough time to gaze at its oozing sunshine yellow yolk because you just want to eat it. It just looks so damn tasty that you can’t resist taking a huge bite out of it before getting decent photos.
It’s not delicate. It’s not understated.
It’s bold, comforting and in your face delicious.
Gooey poached egg and crisp salty pancetta are a perfect match on their own. Then you add in a fresh chewy pretzel bun and some zingy sweet tomato sauce and you have a posh bacon butty. All the flavours and textures we love, topped off with a soft poached egg.
I’ve never made pretzel buns and, since these are buns and not the traditional knot shape, I still technically haven’t. However, these buns are still made from pretzel dough. After taking a quick dip in a bicarbonate of soda and water solution, they develop their iconic chewy crust along with it’s mouth watering golden sheen.
I wish I could give you my own recipe for pretzels but since I don’t know anything about them I’ve left it up to Honestly Yum for the bun recipe.
The dough is soft and easy to work with. I was actually quite surprised how easy they were to make. They pack a lot of flavour and the sea salt on top gives the crust a salty edge.
These buns are only good for a day or two so making 14 buns may be a bit of a waste. So feel free to half the recipe; or even quarter the recipe, make the buns a bit smaller and only make 4 buns. This would be perfect if there is only one or two of you to feed.
Ingredients – Recipe from Honestly Yum – makes 14 buns
- 1 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 280ml warm water
- 28g soft butter
- 2 tsp. salt
- 560g strong flour (bread flour)
- 80g bicarbonate of soda
- extra water for boiling
- 1 Egg, for egg wash
- 3 strips of pancetta and 2 eggs per bun
The night before
- Begin by placing the yeast and warm water into the bottom of a stand mixer, stir to combine. Next add the flour, salt and butter on top; making sure that the salt doesn’t hit the yeast directly before it is mixed with the flour (this can kill the yeast.)
- Mix everything in the mixer using a dough hook on low until the dough looks shaggy. Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough for 5 minutes until soft and springy.
- Note: If your mixer is freaking out (if the dough is just moving around the dough hook and not actually kneading), take the dough out of the mixer and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
- For medium sized rolls (normal burger bun size; not mini or sliders) divide your dough into 14 balls. Shape these into balls and place onto two lined baking trays about 2 1/2 inches apart. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove in the fridge overnight (or for at least 2 hours.)
On the day
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Take your pretzel buns out of the fridge.
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water until it’s 3/4 full; make sure the pan is big enough to fit two or three buns in at a time. Bring the water to the boil and add in the bicarbonate of soda.
- Place two or three buns in the solution at a time, boiling for 30 seconds on each side. Take the buns out of the water with a slotted spoon and place back onto the baking tray. Make sure you place the buns back in their original places on the baking tray so that you don’t have to move them again before baking, and therefore knocking air out.
- Once all the buns have been in the bicarb solution, gently brush them with beaten egg. Slash the top of each one with a sharp knife and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through.
- They should be shiny, golden and sound hollow when you tap them underneath.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
For pancetta and Poached Egg Butty
- Get a small pan of boiling water on.
- Cut your pretzel bun in half and place on your oven rack, at 50 degrees C, to warm up.
- Place a small amount of oil in a frying pan. Place the pan on the heat until hot.
- Place your pancetta in the pan. They’ll shrink, don’t worry this is normal.
- While your pancetta is frying, get your poached eggs ready.
- Once your water is boiling, add in some salt to the pan.
- Crack one of your eggs into a mug. Swirl the water with a spoon until you create a whirlpool effect. Pour in your egg whilst the water is still spinning. This technique helps your poached egg to have a rounded shape.
- Leave your egg to stop spinning and simmer in the water.
- A soft poached egg should take about 2 minutes. Lift the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon and poke the centre gently. If it’s too soft for you, then give it another 30 seconds. A firm poached egg takes about 4 minutes.
- Place your pancetta onto some kitchen towel to drain, along with your poached egg to get rid of the water.
- Spread on some posh tomato ketchup onto the bottom half of your bun. Top with the egg and pancetta and EAT.