Pretzel Rolls or Buns

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I got the idea for a nice sandwich roll or a bun, with a chewy pretzel-like exterior from King Arthur Baking   They looked so good that I just had to try them.  

I shaped mine into long rolls, but round buns would be very good too. 

The main thing with these rolls is that to achieve the pretzel-like chewiness the shaped dough needs to be boiled for a short time in a solution of water, baking soda and some salt.  Then, when baked, the rolls will take on that familiar colour and chew of the exterior of a pretzel.

As with all yeasted dough recipes this one takes quite some time, as the dough has to proof for a while before being shaped.  And, although the shaped dough needs to be boiled to achieve the desired crust, it is actually quite a straightforward recipe.

My rolls turns out very well indeed. I was most impressed by the texture and the flavour and enjoyed them, filled with ham and salad, for a very nice lunch.

Pretzel Rolls
Pretzel Rolls – Video

For the dough

  • 540g(3 2/3 cup) Bread flour – based on scooping packed flour 150g per cup
  • 397ml (1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp) lukewarm water
  • 28g(2 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 28g(1.4 cup) powdered milk
  • 5 g(3/4 tsp) salt
  • 8g (1 packet) instant yeast
  • sea salt/ rock salt for sprinkling 

For the solution:

  • 1.8 litres (2 US quarts) water
  • 57g(1/4 cup) baking soda
  • 14g(2 tsp) salt.


  1. Into the bowl of a stand mixer(you can do this by hand) place the water, yeast and butter.
  2. Sprinkle the powedered milk over those ingredients.
  3. Add the flour and then, finally, the salt.
  4. Mix on a slow speed until the mixture becomes a smooth, slightly sticky dough( I kneaded mine for 11 minutes)
  5. Remove from the bowl and form into a ball, using lightly floured or oiled hands.
  6. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof in a warm place for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
  7. Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knock out the air.  
  8. For long rolls divide equally into 8 pieces(for round buns divide into 10).
  9. Flatten each piece into a disc about 6 inches in diameter.
  10. Roll up into a log shape, pinching the seams together.
  11. Place each roll onto a dry surface and drag the roll towards you, using your hands on the back of the dough to create some surface tension.  
  12. Place on a  lightly greased baking tray(or on lightly greased parchment paper on the baking tray) and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
  13. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/400F.
  14. Boil the water with the baking soda and salt. 
  15. Place the shaped rolls, into the boiling solution( I did them individually but you can do more than one at a time if your pan is large enough).
  16. Leave the dough in the water for 30 seconds, and then flip it over for a further 30 seconds.  
  17. Carefully remove, draining excess water, and place back on the parchment/baking tray.
  18. Take a very sharp knife and make three quick cuts into each roll.
  19. Sprinkle with some sea salt and sprinkle over the top.
  20. Bake in the oven for between 20 and 24 minutes until they have turned a nice dark brown colour.
  21. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Hi Geoff.
    I’m so glad that you posted this latest blog on Pretzel Buns. In the beginning of the week I saw your blog which said you were going to be making Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies . Then within an hour’s time that blog disappeared. I hope you are going to make the Hazelnut Shorbread cookies soon?

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