Pretzel Buns

recipe adapted from this

INGREDIENTS (I made about 12 large buns from this recipe)
3 t active dry yeast
1 t sugar
1/2 c warm water

1 1/2 c milk
6 T vegetable shortening
2 eggs
6 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T vegetable oil (omit this if using a plastic bowl)

1/2 c baking soda
about 4 c of hot water
1/4 c melted butter
sea salt
parchment paper

Dissolve sugar in water. Add the yeast, and allow to proof for 10 min until foamy.
Add into the yeast mixture: milk, eggs, shortening, half the flour (3 c), sugar, salt.  Mix using kitchen aid mixer or equivalent with bread hook attachment.
Slowly add in the remaining 3 c of flour, until it is all mixed. Dough will be pretty sticky.
Knead the dough on a floured surface as best your can, it is pretty sticky, I just added in a little flour as I was kneading.
Place dough in a plastic bowl (or non-plastic bowl that has been lightly oiled), cover with seran wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour). If it is winter or really cold inside put it somewhere warm.
After dough has risen, beat the hell out of it on a floured surface.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Pinch off balls of dough, and roll into snake shapes. Spiral the snakes like a cinnamon roll to form buns.
Mix baking soda and hot water in a bowl.  Dip each bun in the baking soda/water solution before placing on parchment paper on baking sheet.
Brush buns with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake 20-25 min (25-30 min for large buns).

When I prepped the dough I got to the point of making dough balls, then kept them in the fridge on parchment paper. The next day I just dipped them in the baking soda/water and baked as directed.
They turned out awesome everyone loved these. Never buy buns from the store again :)