Pretzel Rolls

These rolls are soft yet sturdy enough for your best burgers.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8
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Ingredients

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing

3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting and kneading (see Cook's Note)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup baking soda (see Cook's Note)

1/4 cup coarse sea salt or pretzel salt

Directions

  1. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Sprinkle in the sugar and yeast and mix to dissolve. Let the mixture rest until it bubbles, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the oil.
  2. Sift the flour and kosher salt into the bowl and mix on the lowest speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Coat a large bowl lightly with oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl, gently turning the dough until the surface is coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp towel and let the dough rest in a warm place until it rises and increases about 1 1/2 times in size, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper with oil. Set aside.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky, 6 to 8 minutes, dusting with more flour as needed. The dough should spring back when you press it lightly with a finger. Roll the dough into a log and divide it into 8 equal pieces, then form each piece into a round. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough room between them to allow them to double in size. Snip an X across the top of each roll using kitchen scissors. Cover the rolls with a clean, damp towel and set in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.
  6. Position racks in the top and bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a dry towel.
  7. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a deep, straight-sided skillet. Stir in the baking soda. Gently transfer 4 of the rolls, top-side down, to the boiling water using a slotted spatula or spoon and boil for 1 minute. Then flip and boil the rolls for 1 minute more. Transfer the rolls to the towel-lined baking sheet using the slotted spatula or spoon. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
  8. Line the baking sheet the rolls rose on with a fresh sheet of parchment paper and brush the parchment with oil. Transfer the rolls to the prepared sheet and sprinkle generously with the coarse sea salt.
  9. Bake the rolls on the top shelf of the oven until deep golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Switch the rolls to the bottom shelf and continue baking until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.
  10. Let the rolls rest 10 minutes on the baking sheet before serving.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) The baking soda in the boiling water serves two purposes. It adds some of that distinctive pretzel flavor to the rolls and it also helps them achieve that deep, classic brown color during baking.