Pretzel Buns for Gourmet Sandwiches

These pretzel buns are hearty enough to stand up to any gourmet burger yet soft and tender at the same time. This is the go-to bun to hold in hefty sandwich filings and creamy toppings.

It’s fun to make pretzel buns!  Before you bake them, you drop the beautifully puffed rolls into an alkaline boiling water solution.  This gives the bun that beautiful coloring that pretzels are known for.   


Pretzel buns on a black cooling rack on top of a wooden cutting board.
Pretzel buns on a black cooling rack on top of a wooden cutting board.

Pretzel Bun for Gourmet Burgers

Foodie de Froid
Servings 8 buns
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
These pretzel buns are hearty enough to stand up to any gourmet burger yet soft and tender at the same time. This is the go-to bun to hold in hefty sandwich filings and creamy toppings.
5 from 1 vote


Pretzel Dough

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 7 grams instant yeast
  • 3 grams kosher salt
  • 4.5 grams diastatic malt powder
  • 300 ml water warm
  • 40 grams butter softened

Boiling Liquid

  • baking soda 3 tbsp per 4 cups of water.
  • water

Egg Wash and Topping

  • 1 egg large, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon pretzel salt or course sea salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the dough hook, combine the dough ingredients until well combined. Set the timer for 12 minutes.
  • Mix on medium-low setting (4:00 for an Ankarsum mixer) or until the dough forms fully, and the sides of the bowl are clean. This typically happens in the last minute of mixing. You should have a smooth dough ball that passes the windowpane test.
  • Place the dough in a clean proofing container and let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size, about one hour. If using a proofer, set it to 80 °F.


  • Turn the dough on a board. Divide the dough and weigh into 8 equal portions, about 105 grams each.
  • Take one portion of dough and shape by stretching the sides down and into the bottom center. Roll the dough on the counter under your cupped hand until the top is round and firm and you can feel the tension increasing against your hand, Using both hands, gently pull the dough ball against the counter to continue to tighten. Turn ¼ turn and repeat three more times.. Place the roll on the parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Cover the rolls with a towel and let rise in a warm place until puffy and doubled in size, 30 to 35 minutes. If using a proofer, place the buns back into the box.


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large pot wide enough to fit 2 rolls at once, bring the 4 cups of cold water to a boil. Add the baking soda carefully – it will foam up a bit. Stir briefly.
  • With a slotted spoon, gently slip 2 rolls into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Flip them both over and cook for another 30 seconds, being careful to not let them stick to each other. Remove the buns from the water and drain thoroughly through the slotted spoon. Transfer the rolls the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining buns.


  • With a sharp knife of lame, score the top of each roll, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake the pretzel rolls until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Transfer the rolls to a wire rack to cool.

Kitchen Equipment

1 Gourmet Bun Pan
Stand Mixer
Basting and Pastry Brush
Proofing Container


Hand Kneading:  If you make the dough by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough ball, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Boiling: My pan holds six cups of water at two inches. Therefore I used 4.5 tablespoons of baking soda to boil the buns.
Course bread, hot sandwich
Cuisine American, german
Calories 223


Serving: 8bunsCalories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 761mgPotassium: 10mgFiber: 6gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 125IUVitamin C: 0.004mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg
Keyword burger bun
Have you made this recipe? We'd love to hear how it was!

De Froid Tip: Bun Choice

Buns are an inventive way to hold layers of ingredients in place to capture that perfect bite.  When you think about your bun choice, ask yourself what texture and density will do the job.

I built this burger for Pine Valley cheese to highlight their Aged Asiago.  It’s one of our all-time favorite burgers.  It starts with a whopping half-pound steak burger.  That’s a heavy piece of meat!  The meat patty is topped with slippery onions, the melty cheese spread, and another layer of bacon.  Because of this, you need a bun that’s hearty enough to hold it all in yet soft enough to bite through the layers.  This pretzel bun does the trick.  

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