Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Easy Pretzel Rolls

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on

You know those recipes/foods that bring together, like, 5 super basic ingredients but blow your mind? Like sugar + butter + heavy cream + salt– they’re great and all, but boiled together in a pot? Oh hi sea salt caramels! Or blueberries, yogurt, and honey? Great. ORRRR you can have blueberry yogurt swirl popsicles. Oreos + cream cheese + chocolate– all awesome by themselves. But together?

Well, you know where I’m going with this.

That’s how I feel about today’s recipe. We’re bringing incredibly basic ingredients together– kitchen staples, really– to create something better. Basically, these soft pretzel rolls are just the RIGHT THING TO DO.

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on

Are you familiar with my soft pretzel recipe? It’s a completely un-intimidating approach to making pretzels from scratch. It’s a family recipe; we love it. I know I said it before, but it’s worth repeating: if you have zero skill in the kitchen, you can make the homemade soft pretzels.

Shaping the soft pretzels would be the trickiest part, if you can call it that. (PS: this video shows you how!) But what if we skip that shaping step and simply crafted the dough into balls? Soft pretzels… dinner style! The mealtime-appropriate version of soft pretzels. I know we all like the sounds of that.

Today let’s make easy pretzel ROLLS. I’m going to walk you through it real quick!

Soft pretzel roll dough on

Let’s revisit the pretzel dough for a second. Warm water, 1 packet yeast, melted butter, brown sugar, salt, flour. Separate, they’re awesome. Together? SOFT PRETZELS! The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

To make the rolls, we’ll use the same exact pretzel dough. But today it requires a little extra rise time. We want the rolls to be a little fluffier than regular soft pretzels, so let’s give the dough a few extra minutes to rest.

Let the dough rise for about an hour. It’ll nearly double in size. See the photo above compared to this one below? About an hour between the two photos. (Use that time to begin prepping dinner!)

Soft pretzel roll dough on

Punch down the dough to rid any air bubbles, then begin dividing it up to form the rolls. Aim for roughly 1/3 cup of dough each, which will yield about 12 rolls. Shape into balls.

Soft pretzel roll dough on

Soft pretzel roll dough on

Next step is KEY!

Well, each step is important but the baking soda bath is imperative. Why? It’s what gives pretzels that iconic flavor, golden brown texture, and super soft interior. Save time and get the water boiling as you’re shaping the dough into balls. Then drop each into the boiling water + baking soda for a quick soak. Worth it!

How to make easy pretzel rolls on

They look wrinkly and weird right now but if foods like sloppy joes + baked beans + casseroles teach us anything about life, it’s this: appearances can be pretty deceiving. Soon enough, those pale wrinkly buns (ahh! look away!) will transform into buttery + salty + golden brown carbs.

Score the tops of the rolls with a sharp knife once they come out of the baking soda bath. Give ’em a brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of coarse salt. (NOTE: I know it looks like I only have 9 rolls, but there’s a 4th row of rolls on the right of the pic!)

I like to bake the rolls squished together in a baking pan because they hold their shape much better. You can, however, separate them on a large baking sheet.

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on

Big soft fluffy centers, golden buttery outside– divine. These easy pretzel rolls are the best ham & swiss sandwich delivery system. Soup’s favorite dunker. The most delicious way to wipe your saucy plate clean. And I feel pretty strongly about this one: the ONLY way to sop up a big ol’ serving of bacon spinach dip.

Ladies and gents, it’s the soft pretzel roll.

Easy Pretzel Rolls


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm-- no need to take temperature)
  • 1 packet active dry or instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 and ¾  - 4 cups (460-500g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Bath

  • ½ cup (120g) baking soda
  • 9 cups (2,160ml) water


  1. Whisk yeast and warm water together. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Meanwhile, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter (reserve the rest for step 6). Whisk in salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or dough hook attached to stand mixer until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add 1/4 - 1/2 cup more, as needed. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. (At this point, it dough can be frozen. See freezing instructions below.) Place in a large greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size. (Tip: I preheat my oven to 200°F (93°C), turn it off, place the dough inside and shut the oven. This is the warm environment.)
  3. Once risen, punch dough down to release any air bubbles. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and, with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 1/3 cup sections. You should have about 12. Shape into balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats OR line a 9x13 baking pan (I use a baking pan.) Set aside.
  5. Bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop 1-2 pretzel rolls into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel roll out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel rolls onto prepared baking sheet or close together in the baking pan. Using a sharp knife, score a couple slits into the top of each.
  6. Melt the remaining butter. Lightly brush each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  7. Bake for 22-26 minutes or until a deep golden brown on all sides.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Pretzel rolls may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (they lose a little softness).

Make ahead tip: Pretzel rolls freeze well, up to 2 months. To reheat, bake frozen pretzel rolls at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through or microwave until warm. The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature, then allow to rise and continue with step 3.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Also: cheesy pretzel twists, anyone?

Cheesy pretzel twists on

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on
How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on


  1. Looks so yummy! Some day, I’ll have to try these. They would make amazing buns for burgers. Thanks, Sally!

  2. These look insane!!!!! 
    Also, I just noticed you updated your “Recipes” section – everything is well organized! I’m impressed! Finding a recipe is so much easier. I love it! 

  3. Amazing…easy to make.All you have to do is follow the directions.Tasted delicious.My entire family devoured these in minutes.I love all your recipes and have made many of your recipes over the years.

  4. these remind me of the AMAZING pulled pork on a pretzel bun i had in new orleans…i JUST bought a new oven today and won’t be here until wednesday! THESE might have to be the first thing i make!

  5. Sally these were fantastic!!!! Even my mother who is very hard to impress thought these were store bought. She asked where I got these and I said I made them she was shocked saying they were so good. My whole family loved them!!!! Thanks for your excellent recipes they are life savers!!!! 

  6. Hi Sally,

    I just wanted to let you know that on your site, under My Cookbooks, when you click on the Candy Addiction book photo, the link goes to the Baking Addiction book info.
    I have the Baking book but was wanting to check out the info on the Candy book!
    You can delete this once you read it, just wanted to let you know.


  7. I made these today and they turned out beautifully! I haven’t eaten any yet, as they went straight to the freezer for lunches later this week, but the recipe was fast and easy to follow.

  8. Hey sally ,so i tried these and they taste absolutely amazing they were gone in minutes but everytime i made them they stuck to the parchment paper…i’ve used the same parchment paper for cookis and cakes and they dont stick at all…does that have to do with the dough or what?

  9. Hello Sally
    As I said earlier I would get back on this recipe after I made it and be honest. HA! I had fun making this recipe. Sally, it turned out great! My husband and I love it. Of course I did freeze a bunch. I am going to use it for sandwiches. I did exactly as the recipe said. I will be making this often through the years. Thank You Sally ps I love your pictures
    I couldn’t find a place to rate it Sally I would give you 10 stars!

  10. These look great and I’ll try them soon! We (my baking-fanatic daughter and I) got your Baking Addiction book recently and everything we have tried is terrific!! The cinnamon pumpkin cookies are *fabulous* and have really added something new to our cookie repertoire. Today we made the mini chocolate chip cookies, and they are *so* good! We’re going to have to get your cookie cookbook, too! Thank you for adding more great recipes to our lives, enriching my kids’ school lunches with homemade cookies instead of store-bought, and doing awesome work!

    • So glad you are both enjoying Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook! Thank you so much for purchasing it. Sounds like cookies are her specialty. You’d both love the new book! Thanks for the extremely sweet comment. 🙂

  11. Hi Sally!  This week I had leftover baked chicken and meatloaf but no sides. As I took out the leftovers to whip up a quick dinner I thought of these rolls. Yes, I did! I made them. While one child was off to soccer practice and one doing homework. . . I whipped these up real fast and had them proofing in my oven (my small oven has a proof option). Viola! I had fresh fabulous pretzel rolls to make sandwiches and boy were they good. My hubby said it was the best sandwich he’s had in a looooooooong time; the kids loved them too! Thank you Sally! 

    • WOW!! I’m so happy you gave the pretzel rolls a try and that your whole family approves 🙂 It’s my favorite roll recipe. My husband is obsessed too!

  12. Have you tried to double these? 12 just aren’t enough in my house:)

  13. Oh my goodness, these were so good. My husband loves them! He used them to make a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! 

  14. Hi Sally, have you ever tried to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on these?

  15. Hey Sally, I was wondering how long these can sit after the baking soda bath and butter brushing before they absolutely have to go in the oven? I’m hosting a dinner party and I’m trying to juggle my stove and oven times. Thanks!

  16. I just pulled these out of the oven. I shaped half into buns and half into pretzels and they turned out great! I’m munching on a pretzel now. I found this to be a very easy recipe and the taste is amazing. Thank you!

  17. I just made these today, and they were soooooo good. Never thought I’d ever be able to make something this good – I love pretzel bread! Obviously, these tasted 10000x better than store bought, ha! Can’t wait to try more yeasted bread recipes – yeast has always intimidated me. Next up – cinnamon rolls! Thank you, Sally! 

  18. These turned out amazing!  It’s the first time I’ve baked pretzel rolls as I was always skeptical as to whether the baking soda ‘bath’ did anything, but it caused the exterior to be chewy while the inside stayed soft.  Your directions were fantastic and I followed them to the T!   I will definitely be coming back to this recipe again and again.  

  19. Just made these today, and they were wonderful! My very picky teen daughter loved them – she ate two and wanted more, lol.

    I found that my dough was terribly sticky however. I had to add quite a bit of extra flour before it was manageable to work with.

    My rolls were also not as brown as yours. I boiled them for 20-25 seconds a piece. I probably should have done the full 30. I’ve noticed other recipes say 60 seconds to two minutes though. Wonder if that would help with the browning?

    In any case, I love all of your recipes I’ve tried! Look forward to trying more!

    • I try not to boil the rolls for too long because I want to avoid any sort of chemical aftertaste from the baking soda. BUT you can increase the time to 45-60 seconds. Shouldn’t be an issue.

  20. I’ve made these rolls two days in a row, because I’m trying to perfect their appearance, and because my husband and sons LOVE them despite the fact that they don’t look pretty. My ingredients have been weighed out exactly. Followed your directions. My dough has been very sticky, and rather frustrating to work with. Many of them also seem to start splitting open after I’ve boiled them (while they sit and wait for the remaining rolls to have their turn in the soda bath). Any suggestions for why this may be happening? How sticky should the dough be? I don’t want to add too much flour and have dry rolls, but the dough has been really difficult to work with. Because they are so yummy, I’m willing to keep trying to get them just right.

    • Hi Kristin! Can you cut a slit in the rolls after they ALL have been through the baking soda bath? That way some won’t start splitting open as you finish the baking soda bath step. Dough is a little sticky (makes for a softer roll), but if it’s too sticky to work with– add a little more flour until it’s easier to handle.

      • So, you’re saying to slit the rolls right after coming out of the bath? I’ve been doing the double slits, but I do it right before putting them in the oven once they’re all done getting boiled. I saw another person comment about boiling the rolls for longer time. Would that be another possibility of having them turn out better? I boiled mine between 20-25 seconds (only one roll at a time). I know you said longer would cause an unpleasant taste. I just want pretty rolls!

        I just want you to know how much my family loves eating them. My husband and sons adore them, and don’t care a bit that they’re not pretty.

  21. This recipe is amazing! I used it to make 6 hamburger size buns. Best bread we ever had!

  22. Another Sally’s Baking Addiction success in my kitchen. I wanted to test drive the preztels for a super bowl party next week, and I found a winner in this recipe. Super easy to make. Two questions. Can this recipe be doubled? And could you make the rolls into “bites” and possibly cook for less time?

  23. So yummy! I made one batch that was gone in less then 20 minutes, and had to make a second batch immediately afterwards due to the begging for more! They are fantastic with pimento cheese spread, or a little ham, Swiss cheese and dijon mustard. The recipe was easy enough my kiddos 7 and 5 and a half could help make them.

  24. Love love soft pretzels! I love the ability to make them salty or sweet. I have a jar of salsa con queso waiting to have the perfect food to dip into it! These sound perfect and I love the ease of not twisting them for sandwiches too. A sandwich must have a great bread! Thanks!

  25. Ok, I’m posting on the bun page, but I actually did make the pretzels. So easy and yummy! I am so pleased with myself!!!! These are fun item to add to my repertoire.. something different for the teens to enjoy!!!!

  26. I really want to make these for Easter, they look amazing! However we have a milk protein allergy in the family. Would margarine work in place of butter in this recipe? Or would you recommend another substitute instead? I love butter slathered on rolls but sadly can’t have it anymore! 

    • Hi Rachel! I suggest using oil in the dough, then instead of brushing the unbaked pretzel rolls with melted butter, try oil or a beaten egg.

  27. Thanks for this amazing recipe!! These are incredibly easy and incredibly delicious!!! My family LOVES them!! I have to halve the recipe to keep myself from eating them all! 
    Make ahead question… We think they are best fresh from the oven, and sometimes, I just can’t time that right. If I make the dough, let it rise and then shape them into balls in the morning, could I refrigerate them until I’m ready to do the baking soda bath a few hours later? Would I need to let them warm up at all first? 

    • Hi Dana!! I’m glad you enjoy the pretzel rolls too. I would prepare the dough and shape it (so steps 1-3). Then cover tightly and refrigerate for a few hours until you begin the baking soda bath. No need to bring to room temperature before the baking soda bath. 🙂

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