Pretzel Buns w/ vegan option

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 lb. 5 oz all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)
  • kosher salt or pretzel salt or grey salt really any large grain salt will do
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  **these make the best hamburger buns I've ever had!!  Vegans - see the bottom for substitutions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the warm water (105-115 degrees) with the yeast and 1 tblspn of the brown sugar and let stand until foamy (about 10 minutes)

Add the milk, sugar & melted butter and swirl to dissolve the sugar. Add flour and mix, using the dough hook, on low speed. Knead dough on low until it forms a firm, pliable dough ball. Add more flour if necessary – this is a soft dough but shouldn’t be sticky if you touch it and find your hand has dough on it you need to add some flour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured table. Cut off 4 oz chunks and lightly form them into rounds for hamburger/sandwich buns.) Cover dough with floured cloth and let sit for 30 minutes or until the buns have about doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets or line with parchment.

In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda. (Be sure to use a large pot, as the soda will cause the water to boil vigorously and foam up, use caution.)

Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for 10- 15 seconds per side.  Remove with slotted spoon allowing excess water to drain.  Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ on the tops then sprinkle lightly with salt.

Arrange rolls on the oiled or parchment lined baking sheets don’t overcrowd.  Bake on the upper and middle racks of the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until browned all over; shift pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through, for even baking.

Let rolls cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Salt note:  if you aren’t going to consume all the buns in one day or you want to make them in advance don’t put the salt on.  Instead prepare the unsalted buns as above and then just before serving brush an egg wash on the buns then salt and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes.


Vegan Note for my Rachel: make this recipe vegan, it’s easy and just as delicious, in two simple steps.  Substitute the melted butter with canola oil or any light flavorless oil. Replace the warm milk with either warm soy or warm oat milk (I prefer oat milk.)

Hey! you can also use this recipe to make traditional soft pretzel knots.