Easy Soft Pretzel Rolls

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!

soft pretzel rolls after baking

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

soft pretzel rolls in a baking dish after baking

pretzel roll dough in a glass bowl before rising

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. 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.

pretzel roll dough in a glass bowl after rising

Overview: How to Make Soft Pretzel Rolls

  1. Make the dough.
  2. Let the dough rise for an hour. Or until doubled in size, as pictured above.
  3. Punch down the dough. This helps get rid of any air bubbles.
  4. 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.
  5. Give the rolls a baking soda bath. See below for more details.
  6. 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.
  7. Score the tops of each roll & top with butter and salt.
  8. Bake until golden brown.

pretzel roll dough cut into dough chunks for rolls

pretzel roll dough shaped into rolls on a baking sheet

2 images of pretzel rolls in a baking soda bath in a pot on the stove and pretzel rolls with slits before baking

Baking Soda Bath

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 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 + 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.

soft pretzel rolls

3 Success Tips for Homemade Pretzel Rolls

  1. 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.
  2. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. This gives the rolls that delicious bakery-style flavor.
  3. 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, or straight from the pan. They’re big, soft, fluffy, and pretzel-y!

Print
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soft pretzel rolls after baking

Easy Pretzel Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 rolls
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Making easy pretzel rolls from scratch is simpler than you think. Follow this easy and approachable way to baking them at home!


Ingredients

  • 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 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

Instructions

  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 9×13 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).

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: soft pretzel rolls

overhead image of soft pretzel rolls

191 Comments

  1. These. look. STUNNING. (I feel like it’s weird to describe food that way) but yes yes yes I must make these rolls; yeast breads are one of my favorite things to bake!

  2. Kirsty Vittetoe says:

    Oh wow, looks yummy!

  3. I’m not a bread baker, but I’m willing to try and make these yummy looking rolls.

  4. These are so cute! I was actually expecting some kind of malt ingredient, because that’s how pretzels always taste to me (which I don’t enjoy much), so I’m driven to try these and see what they’re like! 🙂

    1. They’re the shortcut version 😉

  5. I have been eating some amazing bread lately but you make me want to bake some bread! This is one I have marked for when my boxes arrive from the boat! I finally have an oven…but it’s wicked tiny! 

  6. Will they work with gluten free flour?

    1. Hi Cynthia! I really don’t suggest it. But, then again, I am not a pro at all with GF flour. I just know texture is often compromised when working with yeast– and zero gluten.

  7. Have you tried making them larger (making fewer)  and using them as hamburger buns?  

    1. I personally haven’t, but you absolutely can!

  8. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    YUM!  Your cheesy pretzel twists are one of our favorite recipes, especially during football season.  And I’m a firm believer that a pretzel bun or roll makes any sandwich or dip that much better!

    1. Agreed! Regular bread/rolls/carbs used for dipping just do not compare.

  9. Beautiful!  Pics and writing. always a great job from you. Thank you for giving us your best!

  10. These look like the perfect way to make packing lunches a little more exciting! Picturing so many sandwiches on these……

  11. These rolls look fantastic! I have to make them. I am the biggest pretzel freak. These look easy to make and delicious. I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. Ok let me just say I’m super excited that you posted this recipe. I love love love pretzel rolls.  Thank you so much.  Also I can’t wait for your 3rd cookbook.  

    1. Thanks Ray! Let me know if you try these pretzel rolls.

      1. The dough is currently rising in the warm oven.  I will post to SBABL page when they are ready.  I can’t wait.   

  13. … and this is why I’m subscribed to this website. :):) You have the BEST recipes!! I can’t wait to try these and I’m sure they’re going to taste really amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe. :):)

    1. What a compliment, thank you Debbie!

  14. These look so tasty! I need to give them a try soon!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  15. May I ask what brand of baking sheet is in the photos? Thank you!

    1. I used a couple! They’re my USA Pan baking sheet and there’s my vintage “ovenex starburst” baking sheet.

      1. Thank you!

  16. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    All the heart eyes over these rolls! Seriously, carb perfection right here! 🙂

  17. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- these rolls look so tasty! Y’all have a great weekend!

  18. Do you think vegan margarine would work? My son has a dairy allergy, so wondering if the sub would make it weird, or be okay? Thanks!

    1. You can try! I haven’t tried it before.

      1. I’ll report back how it turns out! They look so yummy!!

  19. No rising time before soda bath?

    1. Rise in step 2. 🙂

    2. Thank you for your prompt reply! I did see rise in step 2….step 3 shape….was making sure no rise needed after 3 I understand it’s not needed.. Thank you! Can’t wait to try it…this weekend.

      1. Just 1 rise 🙂

  20. Did you  do Facebook live last Wednesday. I can’t find it. 

  21. I opened my email just today. Saw these pretzel rolls. I am going to make these tomowrrow. I love love pretzel rolls for sandwiches. Hard to find anywhere in my neck of the woods. I’ll get back when I make these, will be honest about it. 
    Peace Sally

  22. Loooving the sound of these right now. Saturday bake perhaps? Yum!

  23. Wow! Three incredible recipes this week! How do you find the time and energy for that?? Thank you for all you do and the incredible step-by-step pictures that you include to help visualize the recipe.☺

    1. Working ahead! Very ahead! 🙂 Thanks so much Wendy, I really appreciate your comment!

  24. Blogtastic Food says:

    Wow you could totally sell these for a business in a cafe! (:

  25. At what step do you put these in the freezer, if freezing? Before or after boiling?

    1. See the freezing instructions– can be frozen at step 2.

  26. Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says:

    I have always wanted to make pretzel rolls, and these really are easy to make! Bookmarked!

    1. Let me know when you try them!

  27. I LOVE pretzel bread and have picked it up at my local whole foods. Can’t wait to try and make my own 🙂

  28. Made them today…great!

    1. Glad you tried them! Thanks so much for reporting back.

  29. Burgers on pretzel rolls are my favorite!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/cord-blood-awareness-month/

  30. Can bread flower be substituted for the all purpose flour? I have made pretzels but the recipes specifically called for bread flour. thank you for a response.

    1. You can try!

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