Pretzel Bread Twists, Rolls, or Bowls

DSC_9516 2This Pretzel dough makes the most tender and soft yet chewy bread inside its firm shell.  Boiling the dough in the Baking soda water is what gives the pretzel its unique flavour and it’s crust a rich golden brown color. I know you may be thinking that these look like they came from a bakery.  That they are too hard to make at home…  Trust me… You can do it.  They only look hard.  The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise…. and for them to cool enough to handle so that you can devour.

I love this pretzel dough.  I used to make this dough but didn’t know that a baking soda bath would give it its golden color, texture and chewiness.  I used to coat the dough with an egg wash before baking to do this.  Once I learned the baking soda bath technique, this dough has come to life.


I use this same dough to make hamburger buns, dinner rolls, rustic bread rounds, bread bowls for soup, and of course, Pretzel twists.

For Pretzel bites, roll dough into long skinny lengths and snip into bite size pieces. These are delicious served with mustard or honey mustard.

For pretzel topping try adding sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, sesame seeds, or even shredded cheese.

Pretzel Bread Twists, Rolls, or Bowls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print


  • 2 cups  (16 oz) of warm tap water 105-110° or 1 cup water/1 cup dairy free milk
  • 1.5 Tbsps instant dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) maple syrup, honey, organic cane sugar/brown sugar
  • 4.5 – 5 cups flour (18-22 oz) ( + extra for board kneading if mixing by hand)
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt

Coarse sea salt for the tops of the pretzels

Baking soda water bath

  • 4 quarts or litres of water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  1. Add the warm water, the sugar, and the yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer  with a dough hook attached.  ( A large bowl if you are mixing by hand will do).  Don’t add the salt yet.  It can keep the yeast from developing completely and you might not end up with a full rise.  Let sit for 3-5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.  It should look foamy and bubblyDSC_9957
  2.  Add 1 cup of the flourDSC_9958
  3. Continue adding the flour 1 cup at a time while the mixer is on low-speed.  Add the salt with the last cup of flour.  Knead until the dough starts to ball up on the hook and pull from the sides of the bowl and all the flour is joined.  About 2 minutes.pretzel dough
  4. Oil a medium-sized bowl with your fingertips and then rub the remaining oil on the palms of your hands. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky but this prevents the dough from sticking to your hands.  Remove the dough from the dough hook, and the stand mixer bowl.  Gently shape into a ball shape Pretzel dough 2
  5. Place the dough into the large floured or oiled bowl.  I like to rub the top of the dough in the oil and then place the bottom side that I pinched closed when forming the ball down into the bowl.DSC_9973
  6. Cover with a damp clean tea towel (I only use this one for baking) or plastic wrap.  Let rise for 1 hour, the dough should almost triple in size.  IMG_5332
  7. After the dough rises punch down the dough this will release the air that is trapped within the dough.

At this point the dough can be divided into anything you want

For rustic bread rounds divide into two portions, for bread bowls divide the dough into 5-6 equally sized portions,  Small rolls or hamburger style buns divide into 12-14 portions, for pretzel twist 8-10 portions.  I like to portion by using a scale.  My bread bowls weighed out at 250 grams each. ( Double batch of dough provided 11 pretzel bowls. )DSC_0034Traditional Pretzels: Click this video as I show you how I roll the dough for pretzels.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for Cinnamon/Sugar Dipped Pretzels… Oh so good!

For the pretzel bowls shape the dough into balls, pinching the dough together on the bottom of the ball and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Pinched side down.  

IMG_5335 Let the dough rise for 25-30 minutes.  While the dough is rising, add the water, the sugar, and the baking soda and bring to a boil.  IMG_5337 Time to preheat the oven to 400°.  The dough is ready for a baking soda bath
IMG_5338 With a spatula place the ball of risen dough gently into the boiling water.  For picture purposes I placed one in the pot at a time.  This pot had the space for three at a time.
IMG_5339 Let boil on one side for 30 seconds and then gently flip overIMG_5340 Boil this side for 30 seconds more.IMG_5342 Gently flip back over and using slotted spoon or spatula remove from the boiling water.
IMG_5345Place back on the parchment covered baking sheet
IMG_5347Using a sharp knife make two small slices (about 1/8-1/4″ deep)IMG_5348Just like this 🙂  Don’t worry about he wrinkly looking dough.  Baking will make the dough stretch and rise out more and take care of this.  IMG_5352Now sprinkle the tops with a pinch of coarse sea salt and/or toppings of your choosing and then place the baking sheets into the preheated oven and bake for 20-22 minutes  (15-18 minutes for pretzel twists, or smaller rolls/buns) until they are a deep golden brown.  For large rustic bread rounds 22-26 minutes.  DSC_9510Remove from the oven and let coolDSC_9514I will be honest… I usually devour one immediately while they are still warm. No butter, nothing…  YummyDSC_9518 2Yes,  yours will look like this too.  I promise 🙂  

Yummy, chewy, tender.. One of my favourite breads to make 🙂  Place extra bread in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 2 months for optimal freshness. IMG_5362 Now you’re ready to use a serrated knife and cut down into the pretzel round  to cut out the center.  Pull up and pull out the excess bread to make room for soup or stew.  Take care not to push the knife too deep as you don’t want to cut through to the bottom of the bread.  I like to gently push the bread down on the bottom of the bowl before adding the soup.  IMG_5363 Here I have added my French onion soup recipe and top with shredded non dairy cheese.  Place in the oven under the broiler until the cheese gets golden and bubbly.  Try these bread bowls with my Butternut Squash Soup recipe or my Creamy Potato, Parsnip and Leek soup.   Don’t take your eyes off the oven.  The broiler can go from golden to burnt in seconds.
DSC_9557 These little bread loaves can be sliced for sandwiches, toast, or french toast.  Still tender a few days out.  DSC_9560

Cinnamon PretzelsDSC_0024

Our families all time favourite treat!! Brush the pretzels fresh out of the oven with a small amount of almond milk (or your favourite nut milk) and dip/sprinkle in a cinnamon and sweetener of choice (organic cane sugar, succanat, maple, brown, coconut, or date sugars) mix (1/2 cup sugar 1.5 tsp cinnamon)   DEVOUR!

Pretzel cinnamon

3 thoughts on “Pretzel Bread Twists, Rolls, or Bowls

  1. Pingback: French Onion Soup

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