Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pretzel Rolls

During college, one of my favorite lunches in the dining hall was a deli sandwich on a pretzel roll. I just love sandwiches to begin with, and making one on a chewy, salty pretzel bun brings the meal to a whole new level. When I realized that I could make pretzel rolls myself I got very excited. What's even more exciting is how quick and easy they are to make. They don't require an extended kneading time, or hours of rising. In fact, you can whip these up in about an hour and a half.

This recipe makes twelve nice sized pretzel rolls; you can shape them into a basic roll or twist them into a pretzel shape. I've done both, and they are both wonderful. Slice one in half and load with your favorite meats and cheeses, or just grab one for a quick snack, dipped in some mustard or sharp cheddar cheese sauce. Whatever you end up doing with them they are bound to be delicious!

Soft, chewy and salty with a hint of sweet
Mix up the dough

Cut into 12 equal pieces

Let rest for a few minutes under a damp cloth
(or paper towel)

Start shaping

When they're all shaped, let them 
rest for about 30 minutes

A little later; nice and poofy

Prepare the water bath; 
boiling water and lots of baking soda
(it makes the water really foamy at first, don't
worry, it'll settle down)

Boil the rolls for 30 seconds each

All wrinkly from their bath

Load up on the salt

And bake

Beautiful and tasty

Pretzels Rolls
Adapted from
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water 
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast 
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • 4 cups flour 
  • kosher salt or pretzel salt 
  • 2 quarts cold water 
  • 1/2 cup baking soda 
In a medium bowl mix together mix together the water, milk, sugar and melted butter. Swirl to dissolve the sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together the flour and yeast. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead together until it forms a nice firm, pliable dough ball.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured table and roll into a 2 foot long log. Cut the log into 12 even pieces. Cover the dough pieces with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Pat the dough into rolls or form knots and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart. Cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap. Let the pretzels rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil and add baking soda. Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once. Carefully remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and hold above pot and let drain. Place on prepared baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Bake rolls for 8-10 minutes or until brown all over. Shift pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking. Let rolls cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack.


  1. I'm a college student and plan on making these this weekend! Super easy with few ingredients...I wonder...can you freeze a few? As hungry as I get, I can easily see myself letting them get hard...

    Anyway looks tasty! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You're welcome! You can definitely freeze them, in fact I did just that! As soon as they are completely cool I throw them in a plastic bag or container and throw them in the freezer. You can take out as many as you want at a time and they will be nice and fresh. They don't take long to thaw out, but if you're in a hurry just stick them in the microwave for a few seconds. I actually freeze almost any type of bread I make because I love it fresh but I just can't eat it fast enough! The freezer is a lifesaver for me!

  3. Yum! I've always wanted to try pretzels. I like the idea of these pretzel rolls! What does the baking soda in the water do?

  4. These pretzel rolls look so good. Did you have to brush an egg wash on them to get them to look so golden and yummy? I'm going to try making these.

  5. They are delicious, you won't be disappointed!

    Russell, the baking soda in the water raises the pH which helps gelatinize sugars on the surface of the pretzels and breakdown proteins to peptides, giving the pretzels their characteristic color and taste without hardening.

    Karen, no need for an egg wash when you have baking soda. I do know however that Alton Brown uses both the baking soda bath and an egg yolk wash to make his pretzels extra dark. Check it out at

  6. Lovely Jana!!!
    These babies look so good....
    I can imagine their texture and flavor, God I am drooling....
    I am going to try them soon.

  7. Thanks so much Reem! I love making people drool!

  8. Ya, Mom is drooling too. The soda in the water explanation is very interesting. You may have to make these on your next trip out to GR. It's wonderful to have daughters who love to try so many interesting and fabulous recipes!

  9. OMG, those look amazing! I can't wait to try them!