Kids, Don’t Try this At Home

What are some of those iconic lessons your mom taught you? Hm. Don’t play with matches, don’t run with scissors, don’t make that face or it will stay that way, and, of course, don’t melt your plastic bowls in a hot oven:

I know a lot about melting things. In fact, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m kind of an expert. I started young. The accidental Lego on a hot light bulb for about six hours experiment turned out exceptionally well. The results were a thoroughly melted Lego mess and a very stinky bedroom. Then just today, Eric informed me he found a fun size package of Whopper candies in the glove compartment of my car. (Um, two questions. 1. How long have those been in there? And 2, how is it possible I didn’t immediately eat them?) He said they were so melted, the package felt like a ketchup packet (LOL).

So the melted bowl. How in the world did I pull that off? (Please refer to post below regarding blond moments. Thanks.) I decided to tackle a yeast roll today, as I hadn’t worked with yeast in a while. When I make a dough like that, I usually let it rise in one of two places. 1. In the garage. It’ warm, it’s draft free, it’s the perfect place to let the dough rise! However, if it’s winter, or if your husband is working out there and has all the doors open, you gotta rely on plan B. 2. In a cool oven with a bowl of warm water on the lower rack.

Can you see where this is going yet? Yup, I made my bowl/hot water set up there in the oven, let my dough rise, took my dough out, promptly forgot that the bowl was in there and then turned the oven on two preheat. Enter melted bowl!

I had the oven preheating while my rolls rested a second time, but I was cooking something else on the stove top at the same time. In the back of my head, I kept thinking I was getting this whiff of melted plastic, but I never did investigate. Until, of course, I opened the oven to put my rolls in! Imagine my surprise! LOL.

Good thing I opened the oven when I did, because that thing was about the cave in on itself and melt ALL OVER my oven racks. LOL. Needless to say, that bowl had to be retired. I wonder where my adventures in melting things will take me next. . .

Anyway, on to the food. This is the first free weekend I’ve had in over a month. After spending all day yesterday cleaning (I mean ALL DAY…Ever scrub old basement paneling before? It sucks. Although putting on a New Kids on the Block Pandora station helps a lot. Nothing like dancing around cobwebs singing along to Debbie Gibson’s Only in My Dreams, followed by a rousing rendition of Please Don’t Go, Girl 🙂 ) I knew I had to make today count in the kitchen.

I found a recipe for pretzel rolls that I knew Eric would just love. Frozen soft pretzels are one of his favorite snacks (surprisingly low in calories…until you start dousing them with fake nacho cheese sauce, of course) so why not switch it up and make it a roll. That got the creative juices flowing and I dreamed up a burger on a bun-sized pretzel roll, topped with cheese and an interesting onion and apple “kraut.” YUM.

Now, the reason a fake kraut came to mind is because I originally planned to make my burgers out of brat patties instead of ground beef. Pretzel roll, sausage, needed something tangy and sauerkraut-y to put on top (without actually being sauerkraut, of course, because I don’t care for it) Well, the brat patties didn’t work out. The grocery store I went to this morning didn’t have them, so I figured I’d pick some up this afternoon while we were out running around but then Eric didn’t want to back track to go back to the Super Target, yadda, yadda, yadda, we just had regular burgers.

The results were very good! The pretzel roll may be a bit chewy to double as a hamburger bun, but I liked the taste a lot. I’m not a big fan of really soft bread anyway, so I didn’t mind that they were chewy. Others may be put off by it though, so keep that in mind. My fake out kraut was really good too. Perfectly tangy and delicious.

BURGERS ON PRETZEL ROLLS WITH ONION AND APPLE “KRAUT” (Rolls from Bon Appetite, January 1994 as seen at Topping: me)

For the Rolls:
makes 8 dinner rolls or 4 sandwich rolls

  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 envelope quick-rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
  • Cornmeal
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
  • Coarse salt


  1. Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and celery seeds in food processor and blend. With machine running, gradually pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Process 1 minute to knead. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
  2. Flour baking sheet. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet, flattening each slightly. Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  4. Brush rolls with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 375°F oven 10 minutes.)

For my Onion and Apple “Kraut”:
Enough for two burgers
This is a sweet and savory topping that gets it “kraut” kick with a a shot of apple cider vinegar and a generous sprinkling of caraway seeds. So it’s nothing like actual sauerkraut, but it’s inspired by it. 🙂

  • 1 small onion, cut into strips
  • 1 small apple, cut into strips (I used golden delicious)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add vinegar and heat for about 1 minute. Add onion and apple. Sprinkle with brown sugar and season with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the onions and apples and deep brown and caramelized.

Put it all together with a perfectly grilled burger, a slice of extra sharp cheddar, a squirt of spicy brown mustard and ENJOY! 🙂

One Year Ago: Shrimp Ettouffee


Filed under beef, bread, fruit

4 responses to “Kids, Don’t Try this At Home

  1. You and I might be soulmates. And that’s not a good thing. Well, unless you’re a detective for arson cases. 😉

    The sandwich looks delicious though!

  2. This and your recent recipes all look wonderful! I I’ve been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately… but it’s great to catch up and see what’s cooking in your kitchen!

  3. Haha! I do things like that all the time! I am glad I am not the only one 🙂

  4. brannyboilsover

    I am so going to try this kraut recipe on my H! I love kraut and he does not.

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