Soft Pretzel Rolls

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Prep 30minBake 25minMakes about 8

While not as well known as the traditional pretzel, these soft pretzel rolls with their salty exteriors and soft, milk bread interiors are just as addictive. Don’t be tempted to skip the boiling process before baking as this is what gives them their lovely dark colouring.


Melted butter, to grease
60g (¼ cup) bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Pretzel dough
410g (2¾ cups) bread flour
7g (1 sachet/2 teaspoons) dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
250ml (1 cup) lukewarm water
30g butter, diced, at room temperature


    1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl or an electric mixer. Add the water and butter and use the dough hook attachment to knead on low speed to combine. Continue to knead on low speed for 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl and is soft but not sticky.
    2. Brush a large bowl with melted butter to grease. Add the dough turning it to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    3. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
    4. When the dough has doubled in size knock it back by punching it in the centre with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
    5. Divide the dough into 8 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place on the lined oven tray about 5 cm apart, cover with plastic wrap or a slightly damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for about 20 minutes or until well puffed.
    6. Preheat oven to 210°C (190°C fan-forced). Fill a large saucepan or large deep frying pan with water until about 8 cm deep. Add the bicarbonate of soda and coarse sea salt and bring to the boil.
    7. Reduce the heat so that the water is simmering. Working quickly, add 4 of the rolls to the boiling water by placing on a slotted spoon and sliding them into the water, bottom side down. Poach gently for 30 seconds, then carefully turn the rolls over and poach for a further 30 seconds on the other side. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the rolls one at a time back to the lined oven tray, allowing any excess water to drain away, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls in one more batches.
    8. Use a pastry brush to generously brush the tops of the rolls with the whisked egg. Use a small sharp knife or razor blade to cut two slits or a cross about 1 cm deep and then sprinkle with the sea salt flakes.
    9. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until dark golden, cooked through and the rolls sound hollow when tapped on the base. Serve warm or at room temperature with lashings of butter.

    Baker's Tips

    • These rolls are best eaten the day they are made but they can also be frozen. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight container or plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature.

    This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Austrian Baking.

    CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

    Photography by Alan Benson.