Homemade soft pretzel rolls come together quickly with a few basic kitchen ingredients. For the best results, follow my step photos and detailed instructions. You’ll love this dinner version of soft pretzels!
Meet soft pretzel rolls, the mealtime-appropriate version of soft pretzels. Instead of shaping the dough into traditional pretzels, we simply craft the dough into balls. Like soft pretzel bites, but bigger! I know we all like the sounds of that. There’s a lot to cover today so let’s dive right in.
These Soft Pretzel Rolls Are:
- Made with 7 basic ingredients
- Extra chewy
- Soft and fluffy in the centers
- Easier than you think
- Loaded with real pretzel flavor
- Topped with crunchy coarse salt
- Baked to golden brown perfection
Behind the Recipe
Are you familiar with my soft pretzels recipe? It’s a completely un-intimidating approach to making pretzels from scratch. If you have zero skill in the kitchen, you can make homemade soft pretzels. I even turned this recipe into soft pretzel knots, too. But for soft pretzel rolls, we skip the twisting/shaping and form the dough into balls. Much easier.
To make soft pretzel rolls, we use the exact same dough that we use to make soft pretzels. This simple dough comes together with incredibly basic ingredients like water, yeast, butter, brown sugar, salt, and flour. Separate, they’re awesome. Together? Soft pretzels!
The primary difference between the two is that today’s rolls require a little extra rise time. We want the rolls to be fluffier than regular soft pretzels, so we give the dough a few extra minutes to rest– it’ll nearly double in size. See the photo of dough above and the one right below? There’s about 1 hour between the two photos– some great rise there.
Overview: How to Make Soft Pretzel Rolls
- Make the dough.
- Let the dough rise for an hour. Or until doubled in size, as pictured above.
- Punch down the dough. This helps get rid of any air bubbles.
- Divide the dough to form the rolls. Aim for roughly 1/3 cup of dough each, which will yield about 12 rolls. Shape into balls.
- Give the rolls a baking soda bath. See below for more details.
- Place rolls into prepared baking pan. 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.
- Score the tops of each roll & top with butter and salt.
- Bake until golden brown.
Baking Soda Bath
Each step is important but the baking soda bath is imperative. Why? It’s what gives pretzels that iconic flavor and chewy exterior, plus it locks in the super soft center and helps deepen the golden brown color on the exterior. Save time and get the water boiling as you’re shaping the dough into balls. Then drop each dough ball into the boiling water + baking soda for a quick soak. Worth it!
The rolls look wrinkly after boiling but if foods like sloppy joes + baked beans + messy casseroles teach us anything about life, it’s this: appearances can be pretty deceiving. Soon enough, those pale wrinkly buns will transform into buttery + salty + golden brown carbs.
3 Success Tips for Homemade Pretzel Rolls
- Score the tops of the rolls. Use a sharp knife to do this once the rolls come out of the baking soda bath. Scoring the tops allows the rolls to expand and the centers to cook all the way through since they’re thicker rolls.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. This gives the rolls that delicious bakery-style flavor.
- Bake until golden brown. The deeper the color, the better the flavor.
The most delicious ways to eat these pretzel rolls? Enjoy them with beer cheese dip or bacon spinach dip, as buns for ham & swiss sandwiches, with soup (like minestrone soup or light creamy chicken noodle soup), as a side with walnut crusted chicken, with the topping from crab pretzels, or straight from the pan. They’re big, soft, fluffy, and pretzel-y!Print
Easy Pretzel Rolls
- Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 12 rolls
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Making easy pretzel rolls from scratch is simpler than you think. Follow this easy and approachable way to baking them at home!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm– no need to take temperature but around 100°F (38°C) is great)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) instant or active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 and 3/4 – 4 cups (469-500g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Baking Soda Bath
- 1/2 cup (120g) baking soda
- 9 cups (2,160ml) water
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats OR line a 9×13 baking pan (I use a baking pan.) Set aside.
- 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.
- Melt the remaining butter. Lightly brush each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Bake for 22-26 minutes or until a deep golden brown on all sides.
- 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 Instructions: 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.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
Keywords: soft pretzel rolls
Reader Comments & Reviews
OMG DELISH!!!! I made them and they turned out great:)!! My dad has diabetes, so I substituted the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, and took out the sugar. Still tasted AMAZING!Also tried out the normal recipe, for the rest of my family, and the all loved it. I got 15 rolls of the dough, and it was so easy to work with. I ended up placing the buns one inch apart on a baking sheet so the sides of the buns would have a crunchy shell as well. Will definitely be making these again in the near future!!
I’ll admit it. I’m shocked. These were so easy to make and they’re wonderful! I’m so inspired I’ll try the pretzels next. Thanks for making me look like a rock star.
i made these both at school and at home, they are delicious! my only question is do you have a preferred method of preheating?
4 stars Made these today: Easy to make–5 Stars; Taste–Great! I baked them on parchment paper–BIG MISTAKE–couldn’t get the parchment off (I thought nothing sticks to parchment). I had to cut the bottoms off the buns. I baked at 400 for the minimum suggested time of 22 minutes (they were over 190 degrees). I will definitely make these again, but next time I’ll use silpat baking mats and check the doneness at 20 mins.
These are simply amazing!! I’ve always been afraid of trying pretzels because I kill all things yeasted but not these. They were an instant hit and immediately devoured so it looks as if I’ll be making another batch very soon! Thank you Sally for this incredible and easy recipe, it is a keeper as is everything else I’ve ever tried from your blog over the years!
Thank you so much. I just made them. I made one batch half whole wheat flour and half white unbleached flour. I will freeze them for a family party we are having next week. The theme is Octoberfest. I made them in the shape of hot dog rolls to use with Brats and Kilbassi. It is so delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe.
Awesome recipe. I have been a newly inspired Baker for about 2 years and love making all types of homemade bread, rolls, focaccias, bagels and recently (today) pretzels! I tried this recipe today and my family said it was the best thing I have ever made (and I have delivered some tasty treats!)…. so thank you Sally, out of all the sites I have tried recipes from, yours is by far the best!!
Hi, I posted a reply about your pretzel recipe yesterday and now, I am posting about your pretzel rolls! I make mine gluten free as I have celiac disease and as much as I absolutely adore pretzels, they make me extremely ill if I eat them… until now… I made a half batch of these rolls exactly like your recipe called for so my husband and daughter could enjoy them… I then made a second half batch with my personal gluten free flour blend… I have to say that the gluten free version takes a bit more water as my gluten free flour blend is a liquid soaker! But, the rolls were a success! I will be adding your pretzel roll recipe to my own recipe book which is a conglomeration of recipes from many generations of my blended family from years past! It is an honor to add your recipes to my family’s favorite recipes and I will definitely properly cite where the recipe came from! Do you perchance, happen to have an easy recipe for sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls?????
Wonderful news that your flour worked for these rolls also! I’m thrilled that some of my recipes have made your family collection 🙂
There is a search bar on the top of this page that you can type in “cinnamon rolls” and see all of them – I have many! My easiest cinnamon roll recipe is probably this one: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/easy-cinnamon-rolls-from-scratch/
I would love to know what your personal gluten free flour blend is! Could you share it here? So just swapped in your gluten free flour blend and more water? Any other changes? Thanks.
Hi, my flour blend is
1 cup tapioca flour
2 cups arrowroot flour
2 cups coconut flour
3 cups Fine Blanched Almond flour
Mix them All together in a large bowl… I sift my almond flour several times before mixing it in with the other flours… the finer it is, the better… this flour will store for a couple of weeks in an air tight container, longer if refrigerated… use it measure for measure for regular wheat flour in most recipes… I sometimes have to add a little more liquids to things I am making… other than that, it’s a great flour blend for celiacs or for someone wanting to eat a paleo diet… enjoy!
I just made these for the first time and my family and I are inhaling them. These are absolutely delicious! I can’t bellow easy they are to make.
What an easy to follow and delicious recipe! I made these for dinner last night after work to have with burgers and they aere absolutely delicious. I made the dough as soon as I got home and then put it to prove while I prepared the rest of dinner and did some home admin. Pop them in the oven before grilling my burgers and done! I never thought I would be able to make a yeast recipe after work but wow! I did it! And will happily make these again.
Once again day after day I made one of your recipes. Today was the pretzel rolls. They turned out great. Will make them again on Friday when my kids come home. Thanks Sally
This is a fantastic recipe! I saw it on an Instagram post and decided to make it for lunch today. Huge hit! I will making these into pretzel bites next time. Thanks!
The only thing I noticed on the instructions is that between step 3 and 5 is missing the second rise for the rolls, it jumped from punch down the dough to boiling them into the baking soda hot water, I nearly made the mistake when my husband warned me about letting the rolls rise first. It was my first time baking pretzel rolls. They turned out delicious!
Hi Moral! There is no 2nd rise for these rolls. They’re supposed to be on the denser side, closer to pretzels. So glad you enjoyed them!
SO EASY! I was convinced I would toughen up this dough because mine was really sticky until I added almost 1/2 cup in phases to get it to be a pliable, soft dough but I didn’t. This was a beautiful dough to work with. Super easy recipe to follow and mine came out gorgeous and fluffy. We even liked that they were soft and fluffy and not really dense like pretzel buns we have had in the past. These are the perfect vessel for my Gouda stuffed burgers!!
I made these yesterday for homemade Sloppy Joe’s I was making for dinner. I followed the recipe as given but did add some sesame seeds on top. I got 10 rolls out of the dough. The dough was very easy to make and they turned out great. My wife and daughter, who is picky as they come, had seconds, which is a musical in and of itself. They both raved about the rolls. I’m considering making actual pretzels with this recipe next, and serving with a spicy brown mustard and cheddar cheese sauce. One question though, I am on a low sodium diet, do you know how much sodium is in this recipe? If not I’ll try to calculate it as best I can. Thanks again for the recipe.
Delicious. I followed the recipe as I, except when time to shape, rolled into hot dog buns. My son, who originally wanted them for hot dogs, hasn’t been able to stop eating them plain.
Hi Sally! I followed your recipe to the T ended up with lumpy, not-at-all browned rolls. They taste quite lovely but not really that pretzely. Any idea what I did wrong?
Loved these! Used bread flour instead of AP. Otherwise, generally followed the recipe through step 3, then refrigerated half and froze half. Couldn’t get around to finishing the refrigerated ones for about 5 days. Apparently didn’t quite cover with plastic wrap as tightly as I had hoped, and there were a few crusty edges. Didn’t matter. I had made small pretzel rolls, so had about 3 dozen, all turned out great. Haven’t used the freezer dough yet.
So, I am so excited to make these, but I really want to try adding rosemary for an herbal pick-me-up. How much rosemary might you recommend to add to the recipe? Rosemary is already strong- I certainly don’t want to overpower it…
Hi Anthony! I recommend 2 teaspoons minced rosemary– should be the perfect amount without overpowering.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Hi Sally, have you ever tried to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on these?
I sure have– but on my pretzels, not the rolls. See the bottom of this post (below the recipe) for how I applied cinn-sugar. You can do the same for these!
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!
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!
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?
Perhaps– you can try spraying with nonstick spray to help prevent it next time.
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.
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!!!!
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.