The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pretzel Roll/Bun Success

  • Pin It
rcbaughn's picture

Pretzel Roll/Bun Success

Well I finally overcame my fear of poaching dough and decided to give pretzel hamburger buns a chance. I used Alton Brown's recipe for Soft Pretzels since it seemed to contain most of the elements needed for a good hamburger bun. Strong yet slightly giving and able to hold up to the torrent of juice from the patty. (My patties are 65/35 home ground beef, insanely fatty and delicious!) It is a bit unnerving moving the buns to the baking soda water, so I decided to just sacrifice the parchment and cut it out below each bun so that I didn't deflate them. I was surprised that the outside of the poached dough was so leathery and thought I had ruined them, but after baking the skin got super tight and held onto the salt great. I didn't have pretzel salt, but I did have Celtic light grey sea salt that was pretty course, and it stuck great with the egg wash and since it is a VERY moist salt. Crunches in the mouth well too without being overly salty. Any tips on making pretzel rolls that you have found would be amazing since I plan on making these alot more in the future! 

BTW, can you pretzel any dough? I thought about poaching my regular brioche burger buns but didn't know if that would turn out acceptable. Thanks again! -Cory

gmagmabaking2's picture

How cool is that! I will have to try those... can't seem to shape pretzels worth a darn, but this I could do!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I can buy them by the bag full here in Colorado.

They're more like rolls where yours are more like buns, but they have the same crust colour and scoring.

Haven't tried them yet, though, so not sure if they're good or not.

rcbaughn's picture

Yep, just get a real good tight skin on them and poaching is super simple! I would also poach them before they have fully proofed since they will be a bit more resilient than a fully proofed bun. I was terrified of the dough deflating with handling but luckily it didn't. 

And yes Thomas, I wanted a bit bigger bread so I could throw one of my 9 ounce patties on there and have plenty of bread to compensate. The weren't as resilient to the juices as my go to Spotted Pig replica brioche recipe from Kenji at, but they we're still amazing and very, very flavorful. 

dabrownman's picture

baking soda instead of lye for your fine pretzel buns?  They look delicious and sturdy enough to withstand loaded hamburger duty well.  Nice baking!

rcbaughn's picture

Yep baking soda only! I had no idea where to get lye, and really didn't want to mess with it in my kitchen or use it for this project. I have read though to get truely great pretzel dough you have to use it. I guess I'll have to stick with the faux pretzel method and an egg wash to help my browning, LOL.