Pretzel Rolls

The first time I had a bretzel/pretzel roll was as the bun for a cheeseburger in St. Louis, MO. Instant favorite. I’ve always been appreciative of a denser bun on a burger, and the flavor of this particular bun tops it off (no pun intended). Until recently it had not occurred to me that I could recreate the experience from the comfort of my home. Planning cheeseburgers for dinner I decided it was time!

Big hit! Definitely going to be making these more often instead of taking the easy way out and buying regular buns from the bakery (time permitting). And they are so pretty!

Here it is, adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Please check out the original post for additional pictures and information.


Makes 6 large or 8 medium rolls


1 envelope (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

2 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar, divided

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp hot water (125°F to 130°F)

2-3/4 cups bread flour

1 tsp salt

8 cups water

1/4 cup baking soda

1 egg white, beaten

Coarse salt


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and water. Stir and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt and knead with dough hook until it forms a smooth elastic dough. Add more water or flour if necessary.
  2. Grease a large bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with a towel and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
  3. Lightly flour a clean surface. Punch dough down and knead until smooth. Divide into 6 pieces for large or 8 for medium. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls back on floured surface and flattening each slightly. Using serrated knife, cut an X in the top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  5. In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to boil. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add rolls 3-4 at a time and cook 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  6. Brush rolls with egg whites and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature.

Helpful tip: These are best eaten the same day but keep for two days at room temperature, uncovered. Do not, I repeat DO NOT seal any leftovers into a bag or container. They will get soggy and a bit shriveled. Thankfully this bit of advice was made clear to me beforehand.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

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