Adapted from this recipe for buttery soft pretzels, these homemade soft pretzel rolls are tender-crumbed, sturdy, and perfect for sandwiches.
- For best results, please use a scale to measure. It is the only way to measure accurately.
- Plan ahead: These rolls require an overnight rise (or an all-day rise, 8-10 hours), a 4- to 5-hour proof, a brief boil, and a 22- to 25-minute bake.
- Faster Method: Though I have not tried this yet, if you are looking for a faster way to make these pretzel rolls, try this: use 2 teaspoons of instant yeast and lukewarm water. Let the dough rise for 2 to 3 hours initially; then let the shaped rolls proof at room temperature for at least an hour before proceeding.
- Timing Help: If you are wondering how you might make the timing work with your schedule, consider this: after the dough doubles in volume, you can deflate it, and stick the bowl in the fridge until you can tend to it. The shaped rolls similarly can be stashed in the fridge until you can tend to them. The key is letting the shaped rolls proof at room temperature sufficiently — they should be very light to the touch before boiling,
- Yeast: If you are using active-dry yeast, sprinkle it over the cold water. Let it stand for 15 minutes; then proceed with the recipe.
- Salt: If you are using Morton Kosher salt or fine sea salt, use half as much by volume or roughly 2 teaspoons. (If you are measuring by weight, use 13 grams.)
- Equipment: You’ll need a spider or a large slotted spoon to remove the dough balls from the pot of water. You’ll also need a pastry brush to brush the dough balls with melted butter. Finally, you’ll need a sharp razor blade to slash the dough.
For the dough:
- 640 grams (about 5 cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 grams (about 1/2 teaspoon) instant yeast, see notes above if using active-dry
- 13 grams (about 4 teaspoons) Diamond Crystal kosher salt, see notes above
- 12 grams (about 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 450 grams (about 2 cups) cold water
- 14 grams (about 1 tablespoon) olive oil or neutral oil
- 115 grams (about 1/2 cup) baking soda
- 8 cups water
- flaky sea salt
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and oil and stir with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms. Use your hands to knead the dough briefly in the bowl just until it comes together — it will be wet and sticky.
- Cover the bowl with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, 8 to 10 hours (or more or less depending on the time of year and the temperature of your kitchen).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper to portion it into 10 pieces, using flour as needed. (Note: If you want identically sized pretzel rolls, weigh your total dough, then divide by 10. Each portion should weigh roughly 112 grams.)
- Ball up each portion: Using flour as needed, form each portion into a ball by grabbing the edges of the dough and pulling them toward the center to create a rough ball. Then flip the ball over, cup your hands around the dough, and drag it toward you, creating tension as you pull. Repeat this cupping and dragging until you have a tight ball.
- Transfer the balled portions to a roomier, lightly floured vessel to proof: I use two of these DoughMate containers, but you could use two 9×13-inch pans or something similar. Cover the pans with an airtight lid or plastic wrap to ensure the dough balls do not dry out. Let the dough balls proof for 4 to 5 hours or until doubled in volume and very light to the touch.
- Heat the oven to 400ºF. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Bring the 8 cups of water to a simmer in a large pot. With the heat on low, add the baking soda and stir to dissolve. Adjust the heat so that the water is barely simmering.
- Working with one ball at a time, carefully lift it from its proofing vessel — I like to use a bench scraper — and lower it into the water top-side down. Use a spider to flip it over immediately, then over again so that the ball is top-side down. Use the spider to remove the ball (still top-side down) and flip it onto the sheet pan top-side up. This should take no more than 30 seconds. Repeat until 5 balls have been dipped and transferred, evenly spaced, to one of the sheet pans.
- Brush the balls with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. Use a razor blade or sharp knife to make two slashes on the top of the dough ball — don’t worry if the dough balls deflate slightly. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the rolls are a deep-brown hue.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately brush the hot rolls once more with melted butter.
- Repeat with the remaining dough balls using the remaining prepared sheet pan.
- Let cool briefly before serving or let cool completely if using for sandwiches.
- Prep Time: 18 hours
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: all-purpose flour, instant yeast, olive oil, salt, sugar, baking soda