Mother Earth News Blogs > Real Food

Real Food

Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Sourdough Pretzel Roll Recipe

By Renee Pottle

Tags: pretzel buns, sourdough recipe, Renee Pottle, Kennewick,

pretzel rolls 

Pretzel rolls, or buns, are the cool kids of the bread world right now. Not only are pretzel rolls popping up in artisan bakeries, they can now be found on restaurant menus everywhere. It seems like everyone has their own specialty served on a pretzel roll, from gourmet burgers to fast food fare.

So I thought it was time I got in on the trend. After all, I love homemade pretzels so pretzel rolls would be good too, right? Right. The whole family was coming over for Mother’s Day, making it the perfect time to try out my recipe. If you can’t experiment with family, when can you experiment! We didn’t have burgers, but sandwiches worked just as well. Naturally I didn’t want just any old pretzel recipe, so I adapted this Sourdough Pretzel Recipe from a previous post. The rolls were soft and chewy, tangy and substantial. Yes, they took a little more time than everyday rolls, but I will definitely make them again.

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

Make your own sourdough starter by using the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough. It’s hard to completely fail with sourdough, so use the method that appeals most to you. I used a Rye Starter for this particular recipe but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Learn How to Make a Rye Sourdough Starter.

Prepare Sourdough Pretzel Dough

Start by mixing the following ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl to your stand mixer. Because this dough is fairly dry, it will easier to prepare using a stand mixer. However, it can be expertly prepared using only your own muscle power, and is excellent exercise!


• 1 cup rye sourdough starter
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp malted barley powder or sugar
• 2 tsp instant dry yeast
• 1½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 2 cups bread flour
• 1 tbsp melted butter
• ¾ to 1 cup warm, not hot, water

Baking The Pretzel Rolls

1. Mix all ingredients to combine. Knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes, or using a stand mixer for 8 - 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 2 hours.

2. Gently deflate dough. Cut into 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 – 45 minutes or until puffy.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrengeit. Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about half full of water and bring to a boil. Carefully add ½ cup baking soda to the boiling water.

4. Gently drop rolls into the water, no more than 2-3 at a time. Simmer about 30 seconds, turn and simmer an additional 30 seconds. Remove rolls with a slotted spoon and return to the baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining rolls.

5. Score the tops of the rolls if desired. Rolls may also be sprinkled with flake salt or poppy seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Let rolls cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Using a sourdough starter will help keep the rolls fresh for a day or two, but like most rolls these are best served the same day they are baked.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.