Pretzel Rolls

February 24, 2011

We love pretzel bread in our house, especially Meeshie.  Her caregiver when she was a baby was a Labriola.  As in Labriola Baking.  As in Labriola Cafe in Oak Brook. 

They would take her to the bakery and come home with bags and bags of the most mouth-watering bread. 

My girlfriend Angel was in town a few weeks ago and I met her Labriola Cafe and had the hamburger.  On a pretzel bun.  Heavenly.  I don’t know what it is about a hamburger on a pretzel bun so good, but it is.  Truly.

Monday was a holiday, so I set to work making these bad boys.  Then I made hamburgers on the panini press. 

These rolls are seriously good.

Pretzel Rolls

  •  1 ½ C warm water (110°F or comfortably warm to the touch)
  • 1 T active dry yeast (1 package) – not quick rise yeast
  • 2 t sugar
  • 4 ½ C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • for the poaching & glazing:
  •  1/4 C baking soda
  • large saucepan of water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • pretzel salt-I used kosher salt

For the dough: Combine the water and the yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer and let rest 5 minutes until foamy.  Add the remaining ingredients (sugar, flour, salt, butter) and mix with the dough hook until thoroughly combined, the dough comes together and is rather silky – but not sticky – to the touch.  

Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.  Cut the dough into 18 pieces, roughly 2 ounces each, or larger to make hamburger buns.   To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a nice round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal.  By doing this, you’re creating a smooth skin around the dough ball.  Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.  This takes some practice.  Space evenly on the prepared sheet pans, pinched seam side down, leaving at least 1” between each roll.  Cover with a tea towel or a light film of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.

Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil.  Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer.  Carefully slip the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down.  Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid.  Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining rolls, leaving at least 1” between rolls for baking. 

With a pastry brush, glaze each roll completely with the lightly beaten egg making sure to coat all sides completely.  Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt.  With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll. 

Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking – top to bottom, front to back – for even browning.  Cool completely Rolls are best eaten on day of baking (most especially when warm with a little butter) but they store pretty well in the freezer, tightly wrapped.  Reheat in a damp paper towel for 30 seconds in the microwave.

Here’s the original.  As you can tell, stresscakes rolls are much better looking than mine.  I think I need to poach them for a little longer.  But I’m loving her site.  How could I not?  Two Polish girls from Chicago.  Yeah!



  1. What kind of crazy talk is that?! Yours look great! I don’t think you need to poach them longer – they tend to deflate and wrinkle if left in that water bath too long – try baking them longer for a darker color. Nice job.

    • Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Those look delicious, and so unique. I’ll have to give them a try!

    • Nicole-
      Let me know how it turns out.

  3. I love pretzel bread! Shape these into buns and serve them with bratwurst…yum!

    • Kathy-
      We are having brats for dinner tonight! I’m pulling out some of that bread.

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