These soft pretzel buns are a nice change from the usual and are perfect for burgers, pulled pork, sandwiches and more! Make any size you like, including mini pretzel buns.
I love to make up a batch of these soft pretzel buns and keep in the freezer. They are great for any number of uses, from burgers, to pulled pork, to sandwiches and more.
These soft pretzel buns are nice and light, which I like, as I don’t always want the bun to be too heavy. They do have a wonderful chewy texture though, in great soft pretzel fashion. A sprinkling of coarse salt on top rounds out the pretzel experience.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Yeast – you can use either Active Dry Yeast or regular Instant Yeast (such as SAF Brand) for these buns. Quick or Rapid Rise yeast is not recommended here.
Butter – for vegan rolls, you can substitute vegetable or any other neutral-tasting oil for the butter, in the same amount.
Egg – For a vegan substitute, melt 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil and brush on top of the buns before baking in place of the egg wash.
Salt – for great pretzel looks and tastes, go for the Coarse salt. If you don’t have any on hand, just use as coarse a salt as you have on hand.
This is a summary of the steps to make these pretzel buns. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below when making the buns, as all steps may not be illustrated here.
- After mixing the dough, set to rise in a greased bowl until doubled.
- After the first rise, you’ll divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls to rise another 15-20 minutes.
- Each of the buns will be boiled in baking-soda infused water for 1 minute.
- After boiling, brush thoroughly with an egg wash.
- Finally, get a sharp knife to cut an X on the top of each one.
- Finish with a sprinkling of coarse salt before baking.
As noted above, you can make your buns any size you like. For a burger-sized bun (as shown here), divide your dough into 8 pieces. Mine were 107g each. For smaller buns or mini pretzel buns, simply divide into more pieces (10, 12, 14 or 16), to make smaller buns.
These buns will keep several days stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
These pretzel buns freeze beautifully for several months. To thaw, simply place frozen buns out on the counter for 30 minutes or so before using.
Get the Recipe: Soft Pretzel Buns
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, less if using fine salt or salted butter
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled or you could substitute the same amount of vegetable oil here
For boiling buns:
- 1/4 cup baking soda, for boiling rolls
For brushing/topping buns before baking:
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (for brushing rolls before baking)
- Pretzel, coarse or Kosher salt, for sprinkling before baking
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the water, yeast and sugar. Stir and let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- Add 3 cups of the flour, the salt and the melted butter. Mix using the dough hook or a spoon until combined well. Add additional flour in 1/4 increments until you have a smooth dough that is moist, but not sticky. (You may not need all of the flour, or you may need a bit more. Simply add flour until dough reaches the desired consistency). Remove dough to a greased bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
- Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces (mine shown here were 107g each). **This will make a large, hamburger-size bun. If you want smaller buns, simply divide the dough into more pieces - 10, 12, 14 or 16 for mini buns). To shape the rolls, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides towards the centre and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, onto parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until all of your rolls are shaped. *If you want a flatter bun, for hamburgers for example, use the palm of your hand to press and roll over the top of the buns to flatten them slightly. Cover buns with a clean tea towel and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of about 2 quarts of water to a boil and preheat oven to 425° F. with the oven rack in the middle position.
- When buns have rested and water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda (*slowly, as it will bubble up a lot!).
- Place 2-3 of the rolls at a time into the water, seam side up. Boil for 30-45 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and boil for another 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls until all have been boiling.
- Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely and then sprinkle each roll with a little pretzel or coarse salt. Using a sharp knife, cut an X in the top of each roll.
- Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until very golden and they sound hollow when tapped. Remove to a cooling rack immediately and allow to cool completely.
More Bun Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!