pretzel buns

Pretzel Buns

Yields12 ServingsPrep Time30 minsCook Time12 minsTotal Time42 minsDifficultyBeginnerRating


Pretzel Dough
 500 g bread flour
 15 g instant yeast or 30g fresh yeast
 300 g spring water at 20ºCor 50/50 water and milk
 10 g salt
 7 g sugar
 50 g butter, chilled and cubed
 20 g sesame seeds
 1000 g water
 60 g sodium hydroxide or baking soda*



The pretzel is an old European symbol that has become associated with bakeries. By 1440 the pretzel’s form was a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity. Pretzels get their sheen and distinct texture and flavor from being dipped in a lye solution before being baked. In fact, pretzels can be shaped into different forms according to the theme. A prime choice for any sandwiches and burgers.

soft pretzels

Pretzel Dough

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together all ingredients but the liquid for 30 seconds or so. Add liquid and mix on low until combined – increase mixer speed to medium-high and continue mixing for 4 minutes more. Form dough into a tight ball and place in an oiled container. Cover and let ferment for about 2 hours until double in size.


Transfer dough onto a clean surface (do not deflate excessively nor add extra flour). Split dough in two and divide each half into six 2.5 ounces/70g portions. Deflate and turn them into tight rounds. Arrange rounds onto a baking tray, cover and freeze for a couple of hours to firm up. Transfer buns to the refrigerator until the next step. At this juncture, buns can be kept frozen for a week. Let them thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours prior to move to the next step.

Lye Solution

Lye (sodium hydroxide) is an alkaline compound that is strongly corrosive and thus must be handled with precaution. Wear gloves and glasses. Add lye in warm water and whisk.
Flatten buns all around the edges to resemble flying saucers. Place them onto a greased baking mat (do not use parchment). Submerge buns for about 8 seconds. Score and top with sesame seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at 80ºF/27ºC for about 90 mins.

*If using baking soda instead of lye, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop 1-2 pretzels into the simmering water for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking tray.


Preheat oven to 450ºF/230ºC. Lower temp to 400ºF/200ºC if using a fan oven. Bake pretzel buns for about 12 minutes. Keep an eye on them the first 5 mins of baking.. lower oven temp if it colors too fast.

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