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!

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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


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)
  • 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


  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).


  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


  1. Alison Matalanis says:

    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! 

    1. Yep, we updated it this week!

  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. marti @fitwithheart says:

    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.

    1. Glad you tried the recipe, thanks Jen!

  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?

    1. Perhaps– you can try spraying with nonstick spray to help prevent it next time.

  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!

    1. 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! 

    1. 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:)

    1. I personally haven’t doubled these, but have doubled the regular soft pretzels with no issue.

    2. oK, I doubled them and they were perfect! 

  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?

    1. 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!

  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!

    1. 30 minutes max, I’d say 🙂

  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.  

    1. I’m so glad you liked the, Sheri! Yes, the baking soda bath sounds weird but works wonders! 🙂

  19. RedHairedLady says:

    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!

  20. Celeste Fleuridas says:

    I was wondering if it’s possible to make this recipe replacing the AP flour with bread flour?

    Thank you in advance

    1. A few readers have done so! They report back that the pretzel rolls are extra chewy.

  21. If I want to prep the dough tonight to have for tomorrow, do I just put in the fridge after step 3? Tomorrow do I need to bring it to room temp before proceeding to step 4? Thank you!

    1. Hi Emily! Yes, cover and store the dough in the refrigerator. The dough can be cold when you proceed with the recipe.

  22. Hi Sally,

    I made these, and they were delicious! They seemed a little small when I took them out of the oven, though. More like sliders than buns I could use for sandwiches. Could I have done something wrong, or does that sound right? If they turned out right, any advice for making these into bigger buns for burgers or sandwiches?

  23. Thank you Sally, Im a king arthur flour fan so that was super helpful. I am going to give these rolls a try and will let you know how they turn out. Thank you again.

  24. I made these last night. I was skeptical, but they are amazing. Fairly easy to make. Made in a 9X13 and froze half for later.

  25. 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…



    1. Hi Anthony! I recommend 2 teaspoons minced rosemary– should be the perfect amount without overpowering.

  26. Hi sally! I make tons of your recipes and love them! I bought both the active dey and instant quick rise yeast, you say we can use either. Does one work better?

    1. Both work wonderfully! Instant yeast just works a little faster so the dough rises quicker 🙂

  27. Can I use oil instead of butter? I would like to make the recipe dairy free. If I cant use oil, is there another substitution you would recommend?

    1. Hi Rahel, I don’t recommend oil here. I haven’t personally tested this, but you can try to substitute Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (or similar brand) for real butter. Let me know if you try it!

  28. 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.

  29. Hi, Sally! Could I use the dough setting on my bread maker, then shape the rolls, give ’em their bath, and bake?!

    1. Hi Kim, I don’t have a bread machine so I haven’t personally tried it, but it should work!

  30. 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?

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally