Easy homemade pretzel rolls are chewy, salty, and oh so delicious. Making pretzel rolls at home is easier than you could imagine.
When we lived in Los Angeles, my company used to order boxed lunches from a deli called The Corner Bakery. The food was decent, but what made me super excited on Corner Bakery day was that my sandwich came on a pretzel roll. Soft. Salty. Pillowy. I’m not sure what little world I was living in to not have had pretzel rolls until my mid-twenties. But once I found them, I had no intention of letting them go.
When we moved back to Washington, there were no Corner Bakeries. Which was fine, because we were so broke that going out to eat wasn’t even a possibility. Years ago, I came across a post on how to make your own pretzel rolls. Since I’m so comfortable making bread with my own recipe, I adapted these pretzel rolls to my preferences.
People who don’t bake will find any sort of homemade bread a magical feat of amazement. But then you go and bust at homemade pretzel rolls at a dinner party, and you’re straight up blowing minds and winning hearts. The idea of a few select ingredients, some patience, and a baking soda bath creating something so amazing is like a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse that is the spotlight in a unicorn variety show.
Easy Homemade Pretzel Rolls
- 2 cups hot water ~110 degrees
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp active dry yeast I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1/3 cup honey preferably raw. Use sugar if vegan.
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup bread flour optional I use King Arthur Bread Flour
- 5 cups whole wheat flour if purchasing buy "whole wheat pastry" flour
- 5 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- Kosher salt
- 2 quarts water
Making the Dough
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the hot water and 1/3 cup honey. Stir to dissolve the honey. Add the yeast, and stir to combine. The yeast will not mix in to the water completely; you just want to whisk it around a bit. This will create the "sponge". Set aside for about 30 minutes, or until the yeast has activated and more than tripled in size.
Add the salt, olive oil, vital wheat gluten, bread flour, and whole wheat flour to the sponge. If you want a 100% whole wheat dough, omit the King Arthur bread flour, and add another cup of whole wheat flour, plus an additional 2 tbsp of vital wheat gluten.
Using the bread hook on your mixer, mix the dough at mix speed "2" until it clings to the hook and almost all the dough is off the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems "shaggy" or is still sticking to the bowl, slowly add more whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to the mixer bowl and place the dough in there, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with a wet rag, and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Rising time will depend on the temp in your house.
Once the dough has doubled, use the bread hook and mix the dough again at mix speed "2" for about 30 seconds.
Pinch chunks of dough off and roll into a ball. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Let rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Making the Pretzel Rolls
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add baking soda to the boiling water (careful, the water might foam a bit). Place 2 balls of dough into the water, and "boil" for 30 seconds on each side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ball and place it back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 10 minutes, and then rotate the pans in the oven and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on wire cooling racks, and allow to fully cool.
Store the rolls in an air-tight container at room temperature. Make sure they are 100% cool before storing. Any moisture trapped with the pretzel rolls will render the kosher salt on top mushy.