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. 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.

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 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.

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 but around 100°F (38°C) is great)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7ginstant 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

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

94 Comments

  1. I’ve made your easy pretzel recipe and pretzel bites recipe and I like them all. I’m not sure if this time, I used fresher yeast and fresher baking soda- but the dough came out great and I left them in the oven longer than I would have after reading your comment about a deep golden brown all around. I made a few rolls but then some bites and different shapes because my toddler helped me- but put them on a different pan so I could take them out of the oven separately. They were all deep brown and crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. Delicious recipe! I will definitely keep this on my ‘favorites’ boards on Pinterest.

  2. Kids could not get enough. Made a double batch and made pretzels and hotdog buns. Great with beer mustard!

  3. I made these rolls and after the second rise, while getting them off the parchment paper to put in the baking soda bath they deflated. So I ended up with flat rolls. 🙁 any way I could have avoided that??

    1. Hi Debora! Thank you so much for trying my pretzel rolls recipe. If the dough over-proofs (rises), shaped rolls/breads can easily deflate at any point in the recipe process. Try to cut the rise time if you decide to try the recipe again.

  4. The recipe is simple, but I was not impressed by the taste. I would say they were average.

  5. Vicki Brooks says:

    Excellent taste! Super easy and fun to make!!!

  6. Ruth Andrews says:

    I used a scissors to cut the score in the top of the bun before baking.

  7. I know this is an older post, but just made these and they are a hit! Only have 2 left after pulling out of the oven 30 minutes ago Thank you!

  8. So much easier than I thought making pretzel buns was going to be!! Delicious, will make again!

  9. I’ve now made these as both pretzels and the rolls and they are excellent. I do find mine taking a bit more flour to get the dough to not be sticky, but it hasn’t effected the outcome. Also, I’ve been using white sugar instead of brown and it has been fine (I’m sure that brown sugar ads a bit of depth to the flavor, but white works if that is what you have on hand). My kid has been missing going to the mall and getting pretzels during the Covid closures and these make an easy delicious substitute.

  10. Just made these today for hamburgers my son will be cooking tonight.
    Of course I had to sample them warm from the oven. They are delicious. Crunchy exterior, soft fluffy inside. Yummy golden color – I think the butter made the difference since the pretzel rolls I’ve made from other recipes have a darker somewhat tougher exterior. The dough was pretty sticky I needed to add an extra cup of flour plus a bit more while I was kneading the dough. I’ll be making this recipe again! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love pretzel rolls! This recipe was super easy. Thank you for always giving such detailed instructions. They turned out perfectly!

  12. How can I adapt this wonderful recipe to make pretzel hamburger buns

    1. Hi Carolina, you can use this recipe– I would just make each roll a little larger so it can fit a burger.

  13. Paula Rulin says:

    I made theses for the first time this morning. They are pretty simple and very delicious. I made 8 larger rolls so we can use them for sandwiches. I also put some extra melted leftover butter on the when they Came out of the oven. This recipe is a keeper!

  14. Paula Rulin says:

    I made these for the first time this morning. They are pretty simple and very delicious. I made 8 larger rolls so we can use them for sandwiches. I also put some extra melted leftover butter on the when they Came out of the oven. This recipe is a keeper!

  15. This was such a fun, simple recipe…they turned out great. Mine weren’t as brown but they were still tasty! Mine were more on the golden brown side…wasn’t sure if i didn’t do the baking soda bath long enough? I did it for 20 seconds because i didn’t want to overdo it. 😉

  16. Hi there, this recipe was absolutely amazing and easy to make. Made it with my 3 toddlers running around my feet. I’m trying to cut out white flour however and wondering if this recipe would be good with whole wheat? Or maybe 50/50?? 60/40??

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jen, I’m so happy you enjoyed these pretzel rolls! We haven’t tested these with whole wheat flour. While I imagine you can use it, the rolls will end up more dense and hearty. If you are interested, we do have a different recipe for whole wheat dinner rolls. Let us know what you end up trying!

  17. My family and I LOVE your pretzel recipes! Thank you Sally!
    One thing which I keep encountering though is my pretzel buns are very dense and chewy in the middle, not light or fluffy. I follow the directions exactly, please do you have any suggestions for me? What if I was to separate the buns and then let them rise?
    Cheers 🙂

  18. I just made these and followed the recipe to a t, and I can’t figure out what I did wrong. Everything was perfect except for pulling the rolls out of the oven and the bottoms were stuck to the parchment paper. I had to cut off the bottoms of each one in order to enjoy. What did I do wrong? Delicious otherwise!

  19. Hi, I love your recipes, there all so delicious. I am planing on making these for thanksgiving, and want to make the dough ahead like instructed, but I’m a little confused on when your supposed to refrigerate the dough, and if I should add extra rise time when the dough comes out of the fridge. Thank you so much.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jasmine, After you prepare the dough in step 2, instead of letting it rise in a warm environment you can place it in the refrigerator for up to one day. When you remove the dough from the refrigerator you can shape it into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking. Enjoy!

  20. Best rolls ever!!!! I’ve made these several times and can’t wait to make them again!!!
    Can I make them through the baking soda bath, and then refrigerate overnight?

  21. Hi! I’m going to try this recipe soon. I wanted to ask about that warm environment–that’s pretty warm! You let the oven preheat fully before you turn it off and put the dough in there? Do you let it cool at all first? Do I have to do that or is that just your preference? I was thinking of just proving the dough the way I do with most of my doughs, by putting it into the oven with the light on. Would that work? Would I expect a longer rise time than what the recipe calls for? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brian, For the warm environment we preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Once it reaches 200°F turn it off, place the dough inside and shut the oven. We find this preheating method particularly helpful on cold winter days. But it’s not mandatory, you can definitely just use your oven light if that usually works for you!

  22. Hi, the recipe looks great! Is there anything I can substitute the butter with?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, We haven’t personally tested this, but you can try to substitute Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (or similar brand) for real butter. Let us know if you try it!

  23. I’m making these for the second time this week!! I put all the ingredients (only 1 tablespoon of butter) in my bread machine to make the dough, then followed recipe after. Yummm!!! No more buying pretzel rolls at the store!!

  24. Oh my Goodness! This is my 2nd time, making these! Love this recipe, easy, decided to make bigger, because I am the biggest fan of these, ty for making it readily available….

  25. I have made these many times and they are delicious. I was afraid of the water bath, but it was easier than I thought. Since Covid I have been trying new things and got in the habit of weighing my dough. I make these at 45g and it is a perfect size. I also used my bread machine, forming the rolls right after dough was completed. I always use a little butter on my parchment paper. Sally, thank you for so many great recipes!! Tomorrow I’m making your blueberry and Oreo cream cookies!!

  26. They were very easy to make and so delicious. The only complaint from my family was that I didn’t make enough!

  27. This was such a great recipe, and worked so well when I was unprepared / didn’t plan ahead and wanted to enjoy some interesting sausages from the local butcher. I googled “easy pretzel buns” and knew I trusted Sally… great success in < 2 hours!!! thank you!

    1. I haven’t made these yet but the recipe seems very approachable. Curious as to whether anyone made this using a food processor. Thank you!

  28. My family loved these! I made them into 16 rolls to go wth our Sunday dinner. My niece kept asking for more “ prentzles” please.
    I think my dough was a little too wet, so I had a hard time cutting the slits on top. They didn’t look so great, but the taste was great.
    I’ll get that correct dough texture because I ‘ll definitely be making these again.

  29. Now I have made these a few times now and use them for hamburgers and sliders. Today I’m trying for a Hoagie roll. This is simple. Honestly I love pretzel buns but there pretty pricy so I came to this site (as I have many times). You can make these vegan by using olive oil instead of butter. I’ve made them both ways. Thanks for the simplicity and the science.

  30. First time making pretzel rolls and they were awesome! I read some other sites while researching recipes and one said to make sure when you make them into circles, gently tuck the edges under and pinch and don’t use to much pressure to make sure they aren’t dense. I was a little concerned about the suggested oven rising temperature, but it worked like a charm! I waited about an hour and half and in the last half hour they did rise considerably more. I made 8 sandwich sized rolls and the bake time was 22 minutes and they were perfect! This recipe is a keeper!

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