Pretzel Sandwich Rolls

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Yield: 6 rolls

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These rolls, with their dense/chewy, soft-pretzel-like texture and braided pretzel shape, aren't your typical tender burger buns; but they're ideal for barbecued chicken, which demands a sturdier roll. A short bath in a baking soda/water solution before baking gives them their signature dark-gold pretzel color. We've added poultry seasoning, which yields wonderful flavor and makes them perfect for chicken; leave it out (or substitute onion powder) if you like.

Pretzel Sandwich Rolls

star rating (14) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 6 rolls
Published: 04/11/2012



  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder, optional
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup lukewarm water*
  • *Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

Tips from our bakers

  • Make sure the water you use in the dough is warm to the touch (at least 105°F); this will help it during its 40-minute rise.
  • Thanks to the first two recipe reviewers below, we've made some changes to this recipe: increasing the rise time and making six rather than eight buns, both of which will make a larger, softer bun; and increasing the baking time slightly, to avoid potentially doughy texture. Sometimes it takes a community to develop a recipe!
  • Use the poultry seasoning if you're planning on serving the buns with chicken; for hamburgers or other fillings, onion powder is preferable.


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1) To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough, place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.

2) To make dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Allow the dough to proceed through its kneading cycle (no need to let it rise), then cancel the machine, flour the dough, and give it a rest in a plastic bag, as instructed above.

3) To make dough with a food processor: Place all the dough ingredients except the water in the work bowl of a food processor equipped with the steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the water, and process for 7 to 10 seconds, until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Process a further 45 seconds. Flour the dough, place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.

4) While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).

5) Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper.

6) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces; each piece will be about 90g, or 3 1/4 ounces. Shape the pieces into rough logs about 6" long.

7) Allow the logs to rest, lightly covered, for 15 minutes.

8) Roll each piece of dough into a 15" rope, and tie each rope into a square knot. Tuck the ends of the rope into the center of the knot to make a round roll.

9) Pour the baking soda/water into a 9" round cake pan. Place the rolls in the pan, spooning the water over their tops; leave them in the water for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet. This baking soda "bath" will give the buns a nice, golden-brown color.

10) Allow the rolls to rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 450°F.

11) Bake the rolls for 5 minutes. Tent them lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until they're golden brown and feel set on the bottom (when you pull one out of the oven and carefully poke its bottom).

12) Remove the rolls from the oven. Brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will give them a soft, buttery crust. Serve immediately; or cool, then wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

13) When ready to serve, warm the rolls gently on your barbecue grill, if desired. Split each roll, and fill with boneless grilled chicken, a hamburger, veggie burger, or your favorite grilled treat.

Yield: 6 rolls.


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  • star rating 11/16/2014
  • member-packatak from KAF Community
  • Recently started to make dough in my new food processor, so I gave these a try. Easy and delicious. As they were for just sandwiches, I substituted some onion and garlic powder for the seasoning. I will be making these again!
  • star rating 09/16/2013
  • Linda from Garden Grove, CA
  • Good texture and taste, but disappointed because they really weren't "pretzel-y." I followed all instructions, except I left out the seasoning because I wasn't planning to use chicken as a filling. I was so disappointed that the crust didn't come out with that signature "pretzel" texture or sheen. I've seen other recipes for "pretzel" rolls or buns, and most of them actually include a boiling bath, not a "lukewarm or cooler" bath before baking. I wonder if this is what I really need to do, plus maybe even an egg wash to get the sheen?
    Try the Pretzel Sandwich Buns recipe, I think it may be more of what you are seeking. ~Amy
  • star rating 08/13/2013
  • sobrennan from KAF Community
  • These buns were GREAT and EASY to make. I halfed the amount of poultry seasoning - as I was not sure how strong it would be - it was perfect, for serving with Chicken Sloppy Joes. My only disappointed was that the ecipe only made 6 buns! I would have liked to make more and freeze them. Can all ingrediants be doubled if I wanted to make 12?? I also wonderdd if anyone has made the other pretzel sandwich bun recipe and if so how it compares to this one? I like this one so much I am afraid I could be disappointed with the other - but then again - it could be even better! Appreciate any comments.
  • star rating 05/04/2013
  • from
  • star rating 07/09/2012
  • kaf-sub-kelly198 from KAF Community
  • These are delicious! I cheated and used my bread machine dough setting for the entire manual process (it was the 4th - too much else to do!), then finished the rising, etc. Served them with pulled pork. My husband is still raving about how good they were.
  • star rating 06/14/2012
  • Coleen from Lancaster, PA
  • loved it!!
  • star rating 06/12/2012
  • landlmo4607 from KAF Community
  • Wow - fabulous recipe! I couldn't wait to try it! It was easy and turned out great - we love the light texture! I did the baking soda bath in a 9" pyrex pie pan and baked on parchment - slick as a whistle!! Thanks!
  • star rating 06/07/2012
  • vanakendva from KAF Community
  • Wonderful! The dough is soft and pliable and tastes just like pretzels. Left out the seasoning because I wasn't sure what I was going to serve it with. Did I say how wonderful the dough is? Thanks. KAF!
  • star rating 05/22/2012
  • Rachel from Spearfish, SD
  • This recipe makes delicious buns! A lovely flavor and texture. And so easy. We just ate them as a complement to the meal. Yum!
  • star rating 05/21/2012
  • abbowers from KAF Community
  • Excellent recipe! Quick, easy, and delicious. First rise was only 30 min as my house was 82 and humid (Florida). I run a bakery and have access to food grade lye, so I used a 2% solution instead of the baking soda. Note that it is a quick dip rather than 2 minutes of soaking if you use lye. My family adored them. We served them with burgers, caramelized onions, and sharp cheddar.
    Yum! Thanks for sharing your expertise and your variation - Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF
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