Pretzel bread in large quantities. Need help applying the lye bath.
Hello, all. We have been toying with pretzel bread lately as a lot of our clients (restaurants) have been asking for it. We made a few test batches that came out pretty good with the exception of efficiency. It took FOREVER to dip each pretzel bun (3 oz hamburger bun) into the lye bath. Each "batch" is 180 rolls and I was wondering if anyone could help me in how to make this process go faster. Anyone bake pretzel buns professionally? If so, how do you poach a lot of them at once?
Our dough is a brioche. Pretzel brioche. The flavor is heavenly but it seems that we are going to have to cut back the fats to make the dough less doughnutty/squishy and a bit more firm (although I am reluctant to do this as I love the brioche style texture combined with the salty pretzel flavor). We let the buns proof to their full size, peel them off the parchment paper, then poach in the 2% lye solution. The dough is so sticky and squishy it's very hard to do this quickly or in large volumes as the dough looks very... wonky and not a good uniform circular bun.
We used a spray bottle with the lye solution and that worked. Sort of. The small drips of lye solution that ran down the side formed this "pretzel run" kind of thing. It wasn't consistent and didn't look appetizing. I need help on how to do this on a large scale and we are starting to panic a little. Thank you for any help. Cheers!