This easy recipe for chewy, flavorful pretzel buns will wow the entire family. Serve them with dinner or use as a sandwich roll!

Ok, maybe my X slicing could be a bit more “perfect” on these buns. But clumsy knife skills aside, I tested this recipe multiple times, constantly tweaking it until I created exactly what I was seeking. These buns have a hard, chewy golden exterior coated in crunchy coarse sea salt and a dense and chewy but soft center. They are indeed perfect for serving as a dinner roll or slicing in half to use with burgers and sandwiches. 

This easy recipe for chewy, flavorful pretzel buns will wow the entire family. Serve them with dinner or use as a sandwich roll!

If you’ve never made pretzels before, the baking soda bath might seem like a weird step but don’t skip it. Baking soda causes something known as the Maillard reaction which gives the pretzels their traditional “skin” and flavor. Also, if you’re new to working with yeasted dough, Red Star Yeast has some excellent baking guides on their website with plenty of beginner tips.

This easy recipe for chewy, flavorful pretzel buns will wow the entire family. Serve them with dinner or use as a sandwich roll!

Perfect Chewy Pretzel Buns
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2½ teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 14 ounces (approximately 2¾ cups) bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 quarts water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the mixture to proof for 6 minutes.
  2. While the yeast is proofing, whisk/sift together the flour and sea salt.
  3. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and then turn the speed up to medium-low and mix for 3 minutes. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for another 2 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into a tight ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to double in size, approximately 40 minutes. Remove the towel and punch down the dough.
  5. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Using a kitchen scale, divide the dough into 8 3-ounce balls (one will be slightly under 3 ounces). Roll each ball tightly and pinch the bottoms. Place the balls pinched side down on the baking sheet, cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise for another 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil with the baking soda. In batches, cook the rolls for 30 seconds per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a clean, greased baking sheet (do not use parchment paper or the rolls will stick).
  7. Whisk together the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash on top of each roll and sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.
  8. Using a sharp knife, slice an X in the top of each roll.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on top.

 

 

Tools I Used

(links go to my Amazon affiliate store)

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display
KitchenAid Classic 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer
Focus Foodservice 13 by 18 Inch Half Sheet Pan
OXO Good Grips Silicone Pastry Brush

More Yeast Recipes

Savory Simple – Sweet Potato Bagels
Savory Simple – Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Buns
Savory Simple – Whole Wheat English Muffins
Top With Cinnamon – Sourdough Crumpets
Adventures in Cooking - Croissants: Three Ways
My Name is Yeh – Pretzel Challah

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop a recipe for Red Star Yeast. As always, all opinions are my own.

Don't miss future updates from Savory Simple! Subscribe to new recipes by email. You can also follow me via RSS, Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  1. These are very lovely, and I really want to give this recipe a try! Never knew there was a name for the baking soda bath reaction – very interesting!

  2. Homemade pretzel rolls are the BEST! It has been far too long since I last made them!

  3. These rolls are lovely. I love good chewy bread. I will need to try this, I’m sure they’re delicious.

  4. I’ve made pretzels and bagels before, but not pretzel rolls. Those are just begging for a nice juicy cheeseburger!

  5. Those little guys are SO adorable! I love this idea! And really, your knife skills ARE perfect!

  6. I haven’t made pretzel buns yet but these look incredible!

  7. I have always wanted to try making these! Thanks for what appears to be an excellent recipe. I’m not sure I understand how it works to cook the balls in the baking soda water for 30 seconds per side. Doesn’t the water cover them? Maybe they float! I’ll have fun figuring this part out. I always wondered what made the distinctive pretzel crust. :-)

  8. I love pretzels buns and yours really do look perfect!

  9. Wow, looks perfect to me;)

  10. I think these look great Jennifer! I love that gorgeous brown crust and I bet they are so light and fluffy inside.

  11. I love both pretzels and pretzel buns. I used to be addicted to pretzels when I moved to Berlin 1.5 ago. Thankfully I don’t buy it anymore, but bake from time to time.

  12. I must have these – definitely giving them a try!!

  13. Wow! These look amazing. Didn’t know about the baking soda bath – so cool!

  14. Gorgeous buns, gorgeous light!

  15. This is flat out dangerous for me. I have a slight obsession with soft pretzels in general. Being able to make my own in bun form could be really bad. :)

  16. Dang those look awesome! Definitely bookmarking and trying these :)

  17. BEYOND excited to make these (yes, I’m a baking nerd.)

  18. These guys look like perfection… YUM!

  19. I could probably eat ever sandwich ever on a pretzel bun. I just love them!!

  20. I’ve been experimenting with pretzel rolls too – they are SO good and yours look really nice.

  21. fabiola@notjustbaked says:

    You cannot be seriously putting your X knife skills down, these are perfect and beautiful! I love burgers in the winter for some reason. I’ll totally go outside and grill just to change up the cooking repertoire. These would go great with my burgers!

  22. Eva Courtney says:

    I can’t find bread flour. Has anyone tried making this with AP Flour? white whole wheat flour?

    • You can use all purpose flour (I used it for one of my tests) and the buns will taste fine but they will have more of a traditional bread texture as opposed to a chewy pretzel texture.

  23. Now that I have gotten over my fear of making bread (it seemed so intimidating) I will have to try these out!

  24. I got to try this out! Will it work if I use APF instead of bread flour?

  25. pretzel buns are the new thing here lately and I have been meaning to make some and haven’t but so glad you went ahead because now I have a perfect recipe to try! Yours looks delicious

  26. They look pretty perfect to me! I kinda want one right now…

  27. soft pretzels are like my favorite thing ever, and even though I have a “go to” soft pretzel recipe, I was worried it wouldn’t necessarily translate into buns (maybe too dense?) – I’m going to give this one a try and probably have to buy a couple pairs of larger pants after I see how much I love it.

  28. I just made bagels, but now I am craving some soft pretzels! I have always wanted to have a sandwich on a pretzel bun … since I’m on a yeast roll, I think I’m going to have to make these! That salt on top – *swoon* They look amazing! Soft pretzels are definitely one of my weaknesses ;)

  29. These are definitely ‘perfect’ rolls. And the X’s are perfect too! :)

  30. These are just lovely! There is a local restaurant near our house that serves a ham and swiss sandwich on a pretzel roll with a spicy mustard. It is one of my favorites. Somehow, I have never made pretzel rolls at home, but I will have to change that soon… Then, I can make the sandwich myself!

  31. Libby Bouma says:

    A restaurant in town has these for their burgers and they are so delicious. I am too chicken to attempt baking with yeast as it seems every time I attempt it is a big flop! Maybe I’ll get up the courage again.

  32. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    Oh These Pretzel Buns Looks Amazingly Delicious.

  33. Love your rustic ‘X’s! I think I’d eat these plain…maybe with a little sweet butter. :)

  34. Jennifer C. says:

    Can’t wait to try these; I love Whole Foods’ pretzel bread so I’m sure these are delicious!

  35. Starla Bates says:

    These look amazing, and my, my your photography skills are amaze! These look delicious, and I can come up with about 8 things on the top of my head I would love to eat on these! Wonderful post, as per usual! Xo

  36. These make me want to take another stab at making bread! :-)

  37. My Oma used to make these!! Yummmmmy!

  38. I’ve been starting to think through the menu for our annual Super Bowl party, and this definitely makes the cut! Cold cuts + pretzel buns = heavenly.

  39. Wow – these look great! I pinned them and will try to make soon. Maybe for Super Bowl!

  40. I’ve just made these and they’re seriously good! I didnt have the coarse salt to put on top to get the proper pretzel-like effect but it’s not such a big deal. Thank you for the recipe. :D x

  41. I love pretzels and have been completely unimpressed by the ones I have found in the UK – I need to try this recipe!

  42. Will a 1/4 oz packet of yeast be enough for this recipe?

  43. Hey Jen!! I tried this recipe, and they’re so so so tasty. Super chewy, actually maybe I made them a little too chewy or something because they have a hearty bite to them. My only problem was that I couldn’t shape them into the pretty puffy buns that you did. Any tips?

    • I’m glad you liked them! Hmmm as far as chewy maybe you used a brand of bread flour that has a higher gluten content than mine. As far as the shape, it’s a weird technique. I hold the ball of dough in my right hand and squeeze it through my thumb and index finger of my left hand. Then I kind of pull the sides toward the bottom of the bun and pinch it underneath. Does that make sense?

      • Haha yeah that totally makes sense, I did that too. Maybe I didn’t knead them enough because when they rose, they got a little too airy and deflated a bit. They were really tasty but they were more disc-like instead of the round buns you have =P

  44. Tonya Boyce says:

    These look mouth watering!!! I’ll have to try for sure!

  45. Cinda Brown says:

    looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it.

  46. April Crisafulli says:

    I buy these from my local pizza shop, sooo good!

  47. I just made a batch of these rolls and they are delicious! My bread flour is whole wheat, but the rolls are fluffy on the inside with a delicious chew on the outside. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! Have you tried to freeze them before baking? I was thinking of prepping some in advance for a party, but don’t want to end up with funky, shriveled rolls. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Farley says:

      I haven’t tried that yet so I can’t say for sure how it would work. But what a great time saver that would be!

  48. Is it possible to do this with six seed bread flour/ will i get the same results?
    Also how much is 4 quarts of water?

    • Jennifer Farley says:

      As I tell everyone, I can never promise the same results when substitutions are made since I didn’t personally test it this way. For future reference, 1 quart of water = 4 cups :)

Speak Your Mind

*