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. 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.

    1. I made these but the rolls are hard, what did I do wrong? They taste great (sort of like the pretzels you get in the chip asile) but rock hard on the outside.

      1. 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.

    2. Wow!!! I just made these today but made them long for us to use brats and hot dogs in them. They turned out perfect. We put everything but bagel seasoning on half of them. I can not believe how great they turned out. Will definitely make them again.

      1. I’d like try shaping the dough for brats. How did you go about doing that?

  2. 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!!

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed these – and those burgers sound delicious!!

  3. Moral Davisson says:

    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!

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Sue I Chipley says:

    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

    1. I love reading this! Thrilled these rolls were a hit- how fun to make them again on Friday 🙂 Enjoy!

  6. Ashley Desjarlais says:

    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.

  7. Maria Kohnke says:

    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.

  8. These look amazing! Could I use wheat flour or even almond flour instead? If I did would that change amounts of other ingredients?

    1. I haven’t tested these with whole wheat flour. While I imagine you can use it the rolls will end up more dense and hearty. I don’t recommend almond flour here. If you are interested, I do have a different recipe for whole wheat dinner rolls: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/whole-wheat-rolls/

  9. 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?????

    1. 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/

    2. 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.

      1. 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!

      2. Thank you so much Konnor! I appreciate your reply. Will have to give it a try.

  10. I am wanting to make these tonight but I don’t have brown sugar and I’d prefer to not run to the store. Will it still work if I substitute it with something else? I was thinking sugar and maple syrup or coconut sugar.

    1. Hi Jil, I personally have not tried it but there are many recipes to make your own brown sugar out of granulated sugar and molasses!

  11. 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!!

  12. 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!

    1. Bobbie Schultz says:

      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.

  13. 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.

    1. Thanks for this comment! I made her soft pretzels (which I love) and they stuck to my aluminum pan so I’ve used my silicone mats ever since. I thought about parchment for these rolls until I saw your comment. I will stick with my silicone! Making these right now 🙂

      1. Loved the recipe! Made it several times on parchment, no issues with sticking. Guess I use a different parchment. (mine is unbleached)

  14. i made these both at school and at home, they are delicious! my only question is do you have a preferred method of preheating?

  15. I hope to make these pretzel rolls this weekend. You say they freeze well. Are you freezing unbaked or baked pretzel rolls?

    1. Hi Joanie, Either way works! See the recipe notes for Make Ahead Instructions for directions on both methods.

  16. Hi! I was wondering, can you make these with bread flour instead of all purpose flour?

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

  17. Is there a way to make these without yeast and still get that beautiful pretzel taste? My fiance cannot eat yeast due to gout.

    1. Hi Becca, I have never attempted these without yeast. I did find this article that might interest you: https://www.thespruceeats.com/yeast-substitute-for-baking-4140439

      1. OMG!!! Thank you!! I have looked so many times and have never found that page. I will definitely give that a try!

  18. Christi Spalding says:

    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.

  19. 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!!

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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.

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

  24. Vicki Brooks says:

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

  25. Ruth Andrews says:

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

  26. Hello Sally,
    wondering what the bicarb water can be used for after the bath? Can I reuse it or is it safer to discard of it?
    We do use the Bicarb for cleaning so unless it can be reused for another batch of bread I’d know where i’d go.

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Liz, I’m uncertain– I’ve never repurposed it. I would do a quick online search for some tips and ideas since I can’t help here.

  27. 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!

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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