The best Homemade Pretzel Bread (or Pretzel Rolls) recipe. Once you make this you will never be able to eat store-bought pretzel bread again! It's dense, soft, chewy, buttery, salty and irresistibly delicious.
Combine yeast, water, and brown sugar in the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let stand for 5 minutes (until foamy).
While yeast is proofing…melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in milk and set aside.
Once yeast is proofed, add milk/butter to yeast mixture and mix on low speed with dough hook until just combined.
Add salt and flour and mix with dough hook until flour is fully incorporated.
Knead in a mixer until the dough forms a slightly tacky, but firm ball, you may need to add a little more flour 1 TBS at a time, but be careful, you want your dough a little tacky but not too sticky to handle.
Oil a large bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel in a warm place to let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda a little bit at a time (Be careful not to add too much at once or you will have a baking soda/water explosion)!
Remove the dough from the bowl and gently press out the air bubbles.
Make two balls of dough the same size (NOTE: The total weight of the dough comes out to be about 800 g, so each loaf should weigh about 400 g), forming them into the shape you want (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from forming the ball into the water).
Drop one of the balls into the boiling baking soda water. Boil for 60-90 seconds on each side, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered. Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.
Immediately sprinkle coarse sea salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and use a knife to cut a small "X" on the top of the bread.
Repeat with second ball of dough. (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from boiling into the oven).
Bake the bread for 22-25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.
Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just enough to enjoy!
*You can reheat it on a low temp covered in foil if you decide to make it a bit ahead of time. I cover it with a tea towel or something if I’m not going to serve it right away.
If you have a bread maker…just add all ingredients to the pan in the order listed and set it to dough cycle, then proceed to Step 8! You can reheat the bread on a low temp covered in foil if you decide to make it a bit ahead of time. I cover it with a tea towel or something if I’m not going to serve it right away.**Nutrition information calculated based on this recipe serving 12 people.
How to make Pretzel Rolls
This recipe makes the best pretzel rolls. To make pretzel rolls, follow the recipe exactly, except make a few slight changes:
Divide dough into eight equal pieces.
Boil each dough ball for 30 seconds on each side, remove from the water, transfer to a baking sheet, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through.
That's it! then brush each of the pretzel rolls with melted butter and enjoy as rolls or hamburger buns (YUM)!
To make in advance
You can make the dough and store it in the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer for up to 1 month.When you're ready to bake the pretzel bread, remove the dough from the fridge or freezer to let it come to room temperature and rise. Then continue on with the recipe including the baking soda bath, baking, etc.
Whole Milk. 2% milk works well! I do this often with great results! Half & half or cream also work well!
All-purpose flour. Bread flour is the only other flour I have used to make this recipe and it produces an incredibly delicious final product!
Dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar works equally well in this recipe.
You can store homemade pretzel bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. I suggest reheating it before eating it to restore it's fresh-from-the-oven texture.
You can also freeze baked loaves of pretzel bread. Let them cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and foil and put them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the oven set to warm covered in foil or in a dutch oven.