How to Make Super Soft Pretzel Buns

Pretzels are a very unique kind of baked good. Their distinct crust colour, texture, and flavour come as a result of boiling the dough prior to baking in an alkaline solution usually made with water and lye. At home we can somewhat replicate this effect by using baking soda and water.

The shape of a pretzel is also very unique. Its image is often used as a design for bakery signs. That is also why I chose a pretzel as my channel logo.

We have made pretzels previously on the channel, but I had never tied making pretzel buns as I could not quite figure out the logistics. Thankfully, my friend Lan once again inspired me to try something different. As it turns out, there is not much to making a pretzel bun. The process is identical to regular pretzel making.

After proofing the dough balls for a while, we boil them in the alkaline solution and then bake them.

To make the interior of the buns extra soft we use the scalding method. You can skip it and simply combine all the ingredients of the dough from the beginning, but scalding is a powerful yet simple method that completely transforms baked goods, so it’s worth doing.

I’m using white beer as the liquid in the dough. You can use any beer you like or use water instead. Diastatic malt powder is added for extra flavour. You can skip it or add some malt syrup instead. 20g (0.7oz) will do. Regular malt powder can be used instead of diastatic malt powder.

This recipe makes 4 rolls. To make more simply multiply all the ingredients.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the scald

50g (1.75oz) white bread flour

5g (0.17oz) salt

30g (1oz) butter

190g (6.7oz) boiling hot beer or water


For the main dough –

3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.13oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.32oz) fresh yeast

6g (0.21oz) diastatic malt powder

250g (8.8oz) white bread flour


To boil –

2l (0.5gal) water

50g (1.75oz) baking soda


To learn more about no-knead bread dough temperature control click here.

The flour I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration. 

If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients or else it could take a lot longer to raise the dough.


  1. Make the scald. In a large bowl combine the boiling liquid, salt, melted butter, and flour. Whisk until smooth. Cover and leave to cool down completely.
  2. Make the dough. Add the yeast and malt powder to the scald and mix well. Add the flour and mix to a dough. *Desired dough temperature 25C – 26C (77F – 79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust fermentation time accordingly.
  3. Cover and ferment for 45 minutes.
  4. Fold.
  5. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Pre-shape, cover, and rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Final shape. Place the dough balls on a non-stick paper lined baking tray. Cover and ferment for 30 minutes or until they have visibly puffed up.
  8. Drop the dough balls in the boiling water and soda solution and let them cook for no more than 30 seconds per side.
  9. Remove from the water and place back onto the baking paper lined tray.
  10. Brush some of the boiling solution on the buns. Score and top with some sea salt flakes.
  11. Bake at 180C (355F) fan on for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool down and enjoy your pretzel buns!


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

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