Easy Pretzel Rolls

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You know those recipes/foods that bring together, like, 5 super basic ingredients but blow your mind? Like sugar + butter + heavy cream + salt– they’re great and all, but boiled together in a pot? Oh hi sea salt caramels! Or blueberries, yogurt, and honey? Great. ORRRR you can have blueberry yogurt swirl popsicles. Oreos + cream cheese + chocolate– all awesome by themselves. But together?

Well, you know where I’m going with this.

That’s how I feel about today’s recipe. We’re bringing incredibly basic ingredients together– kitchen staples, really– to create something better. Basically, these soft pretzel rolls are just the RIGHT THING TO DO.

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Are you familiar with my soft pretzel recipe? It’s a completely un-intimidating approach to making pretzels from scratch. It’s a family recipe; we love it. I know I said it before, but it’s worth repeating: if you have zero skill in the kitchen, you can make the homemade soft pretzels.

Shaping the soft pretzels would be the trickiest part, if you can call it that. (PS: this video shows you how!) But what if we skip that shaping step and simply crafted the dough into balls? Soft pretzels… dinner style! The mealtime-appropriate version of soft pretzels. I know we all like the sounds of that.

Today let’s make easy pretzel ROLLS. I’m going to walk you through it real quick!

Soft pretzel roll dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s revisit the pretzel dough for a second. Warm water, 1 packet yeast, melted butter, brown sugar, salt, flour. Separate, they’re awesome. Together? SOFT PRETZELS! The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

To make the rolls, we’ll use the same exact pretzel dough. But today it requires a little extra rise time. We want the rolls to be a little fluffier than regular soft pretzels, so let’s give the dough a few extra minutes to rest.

Let the dough rise for about an hour. It’ll nearly double in size. See the photo above compared to this one below? About an hour between the two photos. (Use that time to begin prepping dinner!)

Soft pretzel roll dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Punch down the dough to rid any air bubbles, then begin dividing it up to form the rolls. Aim for roughly 1/3 cup of dough each, which will yield about 12 rolls. Shape into balls.

Soft pretzel roll dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft pretzel roll dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Next step is KEY!

Well, 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 into the boiling water + baking soda for a quick soak. Worth it!

How to make easy pretzel rolls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

They look wrinkly and weird right now 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 (ahh! look away!) will transform into buttery + salty + golden brown carbs.

Score the tops of the rolls with a sharp knife once they come out of the baking soda bath. Give ’em a brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of coarse salt. (NOTE: I know it looks like I only have 9 rolls, but there’s a 4th row of rolls on the right of the pic!)

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.

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Big soft fluffy centers, golden buttery outside– divine. These easy pretzel rolls are the best ham & swiss sandwich delivery system. Soup’s favorite dunker. The most delicious way to wipe your saucy plate clean. And I feel pretty strongly about this one: the ONLY way to sop up a big ol’ serving of bacon spinach dip.

Ladies and gents, it’s the soft pretzel roll.

Print

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 ¾  – 4 cups (460-500g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Bath

  • ½ 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.

Also: cheesy pretzel twists, anyone?

Cheesy pretzel twists on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make EASY soft pretzel rolls! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

114 Comments

  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.

  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!!

  3. 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. 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

  6. 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. 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?

  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?????

  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!

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