Pretzel Rolls

April 14, 2014

I’ve made this statement before many times on the blog, there is nothing better than the smell of bread baking in the oven. I don’t make homemade bread as much as I should. It’s incredibly easy and most times the final product can be frozen, so there’s really no excuse to not bake it more often. A few weekends ago when Shannon from Bake.Frost.Repeat. was in town, we decided to tackle homemade bread. I’ve made dinner rolls before and I’m a big fan of cheating on a few steps with my bread machine. We wanted to make something fully from scratch, no bread machine help, and shape the bread ourselves. We decided on Pretzel Rolls and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Salty and crunchy on the outside, and fluffy soft on the inside. These were great to munch on by themselves and would be perfect to jazz up sandwiches or burgers, plus they freeze very well.

Pretzel Rolls

So, how’s it taste?

They turned out great! They really do taste like soft pretzels. I’m not sure what the magic is to make them taste that way, seeing as the ingredients are nothing out of the ordinary for baking bread, but they are delicious! I’m sure it’s something to do with the process of cooking the dough in water for a bit before baking them. It was kind of fun to shape the dough, dip it in a water bath, then bake it and watch it darken and come to life. We let these bake about 5 minutes longer than suggested until they got to the right shade of “pretzel.” There’s not a lot of kneading involved, so this is great recipe to try if you’re new to baking bread from scratch. I loved the crunchy outside with the salt and then soft inside. I wanted to dip my roll in mustard just to make it official!

Yield: 8 rolls

Prep Time: 20 min (plus 1 1/2 hours rise time)

Cook Time: 15-20 min

Pretzel Rolls


1 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
2 1/4 tsp. (or 1 packet) active dry yeast (not instant rise yeast)
2 tsp. sugar
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt, for sprinkling


1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 5-10 minutes until slightly foamy.

2. Add flour, salt, and melted butter and mix using the dough hook until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured surface.

3. Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. Form the dough into a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Gently cup your hands around the dough ball, rotating in small circles and lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.

4. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet, pinched side down, with at least 1 inch between each roll. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until they rise and double.

5. Preheat oven to 425F and place oven rack in the middle position. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda (sprinkle a little at a time so the water doesn't boil over). Place saucepan back on heat and lower to a simmer.

6. Place 2 to 3 rolls at a time into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the rolls over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

7. Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely. Sprinkle each roll with a Kosher salt. Using a very sharp straight-edged knife, cut two slashes or an X shape in the top of each roll. Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes or until dark brown on top.

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  • Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat April 14, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Those rolls were so good, especially hot out of the oven. I am totally going to make me a batch and freeze them so I can have them for lunch, being that I now have a job and all!! Holla!!

  • danielle April 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I make bread almost every weekend. This sounds delicious!

  • Natalie @ Tastes Lovely April 14, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I had a burger in a restaurant in SF that served it on a pretzel roll. OH MY! It was SO good! I’ve been craving it ever since, but haven’t found any pretzel rolls in store. Will be making these immediately!

  • Lesley Eats April 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    When I made pretzel rolls, I did a lot of research on the method. Savvy Eats had some really great posts about the science, including this one:, which I think you will find very interesting!

    • Leah Short April 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Ah, that explains the magic!

  • Laura @ Raise Your Garden April 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

    These look delicious!

    And you’re right, there’s nothing like bread baking in the oven.

    I guess I never realized that I could bake my own pretzel rolls instead of buying them at the store…..and yours look so much better than the store bought version =)

  • Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel April 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Love making my own pretzel rolls!! I like to make them in hotdog bun shapes because they’re especially delicious filled with italian sausages and sauted peppers and onions! YUM!

  • Michael October 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    At this size, are these rolls good for pairing with burgers, or should they be made a little bigger for a good final product? 🙂 And do they puff up a good deal so that some of the middle would need to be carved out?

    • Leah Short October 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Michael! I think these would work great as buns for burgers. They may be just slightly on the smaller size, but you could shape them a bit bigger and make less than 8 buns if you want. They are pretty hearty, so you may want to scoop out some inside to hold your burger toppings or you could embrace all the carbzzzz! I hope you enjoy them. 🙂