German pretzel buns are super easy to make. They don’t require the pretty technical shaping that the regular pretzels do. This is my German pretzel bun recipe, and I really think you should try it.
The crust is dark and chewy and the crumb is light and fluffy. They are perfect as a snack with an ice cold beer or a dinner roll for a dish like Hungarian goulash.
The secret behind the dark crust in this pretzel bun recipe
Pretzels have this deep dark crust, and there is a secret behind it. It may sound scary, but they’ve been doing it in Germany for over 800 years.
The secret is that the proofed dough needs to be dipped in a lye (sodium hydroxide) solution. It is not a very highly corrosive mix, but you should still be safe when you do it. Wear rubber gloves when you work with the solution.
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This is my German pretzel bun recipe. I hope you will try to make them. If you post it on Instagram please tag med as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.
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German Pretzel Buns
- 530 gram all-purpose flour
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 2 tsp table salt
- 300 gram water, tepid
- 40 gram butter, melted
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- 1000 ml vand
- 30 gram sodium hydroxide
Make the dough
- Mix flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and pour it into the water.
- Pour the water/butter liquid into the flour mixture and mix it quickly.
- Run in the mixer at medium speed with the dough hook for about 10 minutes until you have a cohesive dough that is a bit tacky. If it is too stick knead in a bit more flour by hand. It should _not_ be dry.
- Cover the bowl with a dish cloth and let the dough proof somewhere warm for about one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Shape the buns
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 10 pieces. Each piece should be about 88 grams.
- Time to shape the buns: Hold the dough piece in your left hand (or right hand if you are left handed). Fold the edge towards the middle of the bun and turn the bun about an 1/8th and continue until the top of the bun is tight. Place the bun on an unfloured work surface. Place your hand over the top of the bun with your fingers like a spider. Move the bun around in circles to form a perfectly round bun.
Look at this video to see it in action.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let them proof for about 20 minutes under a disk cloth.
- Turn on the oven at 225°C / 440°F / Gas mark 8.
Prepare alkali bath
- In the meantime, prepare the alkali bath. Please wear rubber gloves.
- Pour 30 grams of sodium hydroxide into 4 cups of water. Stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved.
- When you are ready to back, soak the buns in the liquid for one minute. Turn them around so that every surface has been exposed to the liquid. Take the buns out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and put them back on the baking paper and continue with the rest of the buns.
- Sprinkle sea salt on top and score a cross in the top of the bun using a serrated knife.
Bake the buns
- Bake the buns for about 16 minutes or until the register an internal temperature of 99°C / 210°F.
- It’s that easy to make preztel buns. Enjoy.
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.