Everyone’s favorite twisted carb gets a quick-fix makeover with a tried-and-tested recipe for Easy Pull-Apart Pretzel Rolls.
If there is one thing I am known for being the master baker of in our family, it’s soft pretzels! When I whip up a batch, my family members come by the droves to get their hands on the golden brown, chewy, salted carbs that I whip up in every shape and size, from bites to bagels to twists. Now, I’m adding pretzel rolls to the lineup and dishing all my tips and tricks to guarantee success.
What’s the Secret to Easy Soft Pretzel Rolls?
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary pretzel rolls comes down to a few pro tips:
- Water Temp: Start with water that is 110-115°F; anything warmer will kill the yeast and anything cooler will prevent the yeast from bubbling up and doing its happy dance
- The Proof Is In the Proof: Letting the dough rest in a warm, dark, humid environment (your dryer is a great spot!) will ensure the yeast works its magic efficiently and effectively
- Baking Soda Bath: In order to achieve the characteristic golden brown crust of a soft pretzel, the dough must be boiled in a baking soda bath that’s at a rolling boil
Help! I’m Scared to Work with Yeast
Have no fear! I used to be very intimidated by yeast, but once you understand its basic needs, and you’ve got a foolproof recipe, yeasted doughs are a breeze. In order for yeast to function properly in the proofing stage, a yeasted dough must proof (ie. rise) in an environment that is:
Where Should You Proof Dough?
This may come as a surprise, but the ideal spot for your dough to proof is in your dryer! It checks off all the boxes (warm, humid and dark).
Run your dryer for 5 minutes then turn it off. Place your bowl of dough (covered with plastic wrap or a towel) in the dryer and close the door. The yeast is in the prime environment to activate, and you’re mere minutes away from delicious DIY carbs!
Why Do You Boil Pretzels Before Baking Them?
It’s a great question, but it’s not so much about boiling as it is what you’re boiling them in: a mix of water and baking soda. Baking soda is a more common substitute for lye, which is traditionally used when making soft pretzels.
Baking soda not only provides the characteristic chewiness of soft pretzels, but it also imparts a tanginess on the flavor front. It’s an essential park of making soft pretzels, no matter their shape or size!
Do You Need a Cast-Iron Skillet to Make Pretzel Rolls?
No cast-iron skillet needed! This recipe works great in any baking dish, as long as your grease it with unsalted butter. You can also line a baking sheet with parchment paper then grease it with vegetable oil and bake the rolls directly on the baking sheet.
Can You Make Pretzel Rolls from Pizza Dough?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for a store-bought shortcut that will cut your prep time in half, grab your go-to pizza dough and check out my recipe for Easy Pizza Dough Soft Pretzel Bites.
Ready to become the pretzel roll hero in your ‘hood? Grab the yeast and your skillet or baking pan of choice and get ready for soft, pillowy, chewy and perfectly golden brown pretzel rolls that make a great side dish or the perfect slider-sized buns for your choice of fillings (hello, pulled pork!).Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115°F)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for topping
- 1 (1/4-oz.) packet active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk, mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until it begins to foam.
- Add the flour and melted butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until a dough ball begins to form, then increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl then grease the bowl with vegetable oil and return the dough to it. Cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a dark, warm place to proof until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 13×9-inch baking pan with butter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then grease the parchment paper with butter.
- In a large stockpot, whisk together the water and baking soda. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. While the mixture is coming to a boil, uncover the dough, transfer it to your work surface and divide it into 16 equal portions. Cupping your hand over each piece of dough, roll it into a ball then set it on the greased baking sheet.
- Working in batches, boil the rolls in the baking soda mixture for 30 seconds, flipping them once. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the rolls back onto the baking sheet.
- Arrange the rolls in a single layer in the cast-iron skillet or baking dish. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, then sprinkle them with salt.
- Bake the rolls until they are dark golden brown on top and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove them from the oven and serve.