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+ servings
Soft pretzel rolls for sandwiches, silpat, half sheet pan, rustic wood table, sesame seeds, pretzel salt

The Most Perfect Soft Pretzel Rolls

Rebecca Lindamood
The most perfect soft pretzel rolls for sandwiches. Tender yet chewy, and substantial enough to hold up to any fillings. Topped with a delightful combination of sesame seeds and pretzel salt.


  • 4 cups bread flour 1 pound 1 ounce by weight
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons SAF or instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unfed sourdough starter or lukewarm water

Ingredients for pretzel boil:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

Ingredients for toppings:

  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • pretzel salt


To Make the Dough by Hand:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Set the whisk aside and switch to a sturdy wooden spoon. Stir in the milk and sourdough starter until a soft dough forms. Turn onto a generously floured surface and knead, for 15 minutes adding small amounts of flour as needed to keep the dough from adhering to the counter. You do not want a firm dough… it should be fairly slack, a little tacky and soft, yet smooth. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in bulk and puffy, about an hour or so.

To Make the Dough by Stand Mixer:

  • In the work-bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix on low about 30 seconds, or just to combine dry ingredients. With mixer still on low, carefully pour in the milk and sourdough starter. Continue mixing on low until you have a smooth, soft, slightly tacky dough. Remove bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in bulk and puffy, about an hour or so.

To Make the Dough by Bread Machine:

  • Add the milk, sourdough starter, flour, sugar, and yeast to the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the “Dough” or “Dough Only” cycle and hit start. Allow the cycle to complete.

To Form the Soft Pretzel Rolls:

  • Line one half sheet pan with a silpat. Set next to your work area.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Divide into three equal sized pieces, then divide those in half, and in half again, yielding 12 approximately equal sized pieces of dough.
    Roll each piece of dough into a long rope, between 22 and 24 inches long. Coil the rope from the center out.
  • Pinch the end to the coil to adhere it.
  • Transfer to your prepared sheet arranging them in four rows of three, leaving space between the rolls to allow for expansion.
    Cover the rolls with a clean tea towel and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 20 minutes, or until puffy.

To Cook the Soft Pretzel Rolls:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stainless steel or other non-reactive pan (enameled cast-iron, tempered glass, etc…) When water simmers, add the baking soda.
    Gently lift the rolls one at a time, and ease -top side down first-  into the simmering water. (You can boil more than one at a time, but be sure not to crowd the the pan as they will expand as they boil. Let simmer for about 45 seconds, flip the pieces and simmer for another 45 seconds-1 minute. Use a slotted spatula or spoon to drain and return each piece to its place on the pan. Continue until all pieces have been boiled and returned to the pan.
  • Sprinkle each pretzel with about a teaspoon of sesame seeds and pretzel salt to taste. Place pans in oven and bake the pretzels at least until golden brown (at least 18 minutes), but you can bake until they are deep brown which is my preference (closer to 22-24 minutes in my oven.)
  • Let stand for at least 5 minutes before eating. If you want to slice these for sandwiches, bring to room temperature before cutting open.
    These are best enjoyed warm, but can be stored in non-airtight container such as a bowl covered with a clean tea towel or a paper bag that is cinched or clipped shut at room temperature for a couple of days. They can be quickly reheated prior to serving.


Calories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 7gFat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 808mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 35IUCalcium: 53mgIron: 0.7mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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