Whole Grain Pretzel Buns or Rolls

After all the ogling over that veggie burger yesterday, are you ready to check out these pretzel buns?

They are super simple to make and are oh-so-worth the time.

Whole Grain Pretzel Buns or Rolls


  • 2 C. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 C. organic unbleached flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 T. active dry yeast
  • 2 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 t. raw agave
  • 1 t. soy lecithin or extra virgin olive oil (softens the bread a bit)
  • sesame seeds or kosher salt for sprinkling.

Method: In a bread maker or other kneading apparatus (possibly your hands) knead all of the above ingredients for 10 minutes. Let rise for 30 minutes. Punch dough down, divide into 8 hamburger buns or 12 rolls. If making hamburger buns, smash each piece of dough down firmly with your hands, making 3 or 4 inch rounds.

 Let dough rise for 15 more minutes. In the meantime, bring to a boil: 2 quarts (8 cups) water with 1 T. kosher salt and 4 T. baking soda.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, Poach 2 buns at a time for one minute, turning over halfway through.

Remove buns with a slotted spoon. Slash each roll 3 times across the top with a sharp knife. Quickly Sprinkle with a bit of sesame seeds or kosher salt. 

Repeat until all buns are poached. Let rest while oven preheats to 400 degrees.

Bake for 20-25 minutes for hamburger buns or 15-20 minutes for rolls. Please use parchment paper to bake on, otherwise you will need a chisel and a hammer and quite possibly ruin your favorite baking sheet.

Pretzel Buns/Rolls are best eaten the day they are made.

This recipe is shared at VVP6 here



  1. i am in heaven!! you had me a pretzel and rolls. bread is my weakness:) i can make these everyday and eat all!! those are some very beautiful and puffy rolls!

    1. You can make them with white flour and they are even fluffier, but of course, that’s not how I roll 😉 Glad you adore them. Since I discovered them I can’t get enough!

    1. Thank you! Baking and cooking is often very cathartic for me as well. And- my results aren’t always so professional! I have plenty of flops in the kitchen, they just don’t end up here.

  2. I made bagels with a friend before. The method is the same but I do like the use of whole wheat in your recipe. Going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You can make them without the gluten, you will need to increase the initial rise time to 45-60 minutes and the second rise time to 30 minutes. You will also end up with a denser product. Gluten gives whole wheat bread a quicker rise, a more open structure and a greater yield.

  3. Nice post .. Pretzels remind me of the Swiss alps and skiing 🙂 I have never made these so I will put them on my list… Thanks for sharing

        1. That makes me REALLY happy. I didn’t hear that, I did hear however that your dad ate the jam that came with them in nearly one setting, it’s time to break that out again!

  4. These look really good- and they sound easy enough to make. I just haven’t had any luck using yeast at this altitude… I’m scared!! 🙂

    1. yeast at altitude is tricky, which is why I’m a huge fan of the one rise and no knead methods. I’m at about 4,600 feet and this recipe works in my kitchen if that helps…. 🙂

    1. I know right! You totally have to try them!

      MOFO madness is killing me right now. Recovering from food poisoning with no motivation to cook. I actually made white bread this week Kristy. WHITE BREAD. I needed to have something I could keep down and that was gentle on my stomach. Oh man.

    1. Oh please oh please get over it. There’s nothing to be afraid of! Like anything else, it gets easier and better with practice 🙂 !!!

    1. Great! They’re our favorite go to for veggie burgers and we love to have the rolls with dinner, especially when guests come. They disappear like hot cakes!

    1. Yes! They really are easy! I’m really grateful no-one is g.f. in this household. I do know how to cook gluten free, but I don’t think I could live without bread.

  5. Gluten loving temptress!! Those look awesome. I’ll let you know how it works out if I get the courage to try it with gluten-free flour. 🙂

    1. I’m really sorry! I’m probably going to be posting an awful lot of bread this month, but you can just avert your eyes. I’ve made such a disaster out of g.f. cookies that I don’t dare to attempt it in bread!

    1. Yes, these are definitely man approved! Thanks Heidi! I need to go through your site and put all the things I’ve planned to make and then forget on pinterest! So many things!

  6. These look wonderful! How are you enjoying MoFo? This is my second year and I just love it. I got all of my holiday meal ideas from MoFo last year. I’m thinking these rolls may become my Thanksgiving bread :).

    1. Thanks Debbie! To be honest MOFO is a bit stressful, I feel like every post has to really shine which is difficult when coming up with so many. If I had known earlier, I may have planned in advance more, but some say that’s cheating. These rolls would be awesome at a Thanksgiving feast! Mmmm, dipped in gravy! 🙂

  7. I’ve been waiting for this one. Thanks for sharing. Lots of great stuff coming out of your kitchen. Wish I lived closer (instead of just having my sister tell me about it).

    1. So easy to make! Yes, I wished you lived closer too. If we all got a babysitter for the kids, imagine the trouble we could make in the kitchen together. 😉

  8. I’ve just printed your recipe. I don’t eat a lot of bread these days but am going to make the Black Bean Veggie Burgers this weekend so might as well go all the way and try make these buns too. I’ve never had a pretzle roll before (we don’t really do pretzles in Australia) so it will be a fun experiment.

    1. Wow! I didn’t know you lived in Australia! I lived there for 2 years and met and married my husband there. I have a great Aussie classic coming up soon on my blog! And yes, I can’t remember ever seeing pretzels there.

      Good luck with the burgers and buns! I’d love to find out how you like it!

  9. I still have vital wheat gluten on my shopping list from when you told me to get it for my sandwich bread. Maybe now that it’s getting colder I’ll get back to the process of perfecting that! These look delicious. 🙂

    1. Awesome Emmy! The vital wheat gluten is great for whole wheat or mostly whole wheat. It helps it not to be so dense and increases yield, which is awesome. Let me know if you get around to it! I see so many recipes every day that I want to make! Never enough time to get to them all!

  10. Just tried this recipe. A few edits along the way, although. Any one else have to add more water? I had to add almost the same amount again – well, 1/4 c. at a time until the dough was knead-able. As well, to prevent sticking, I coated the bottoms of each bun with cornmeal (i took the buns wet from the poaching, placed them in a shallow dish that had cornmeal spread on the bottom, and the corn stuck to the dough). cooked on a metal baking sheet without any issues.

    1. Great idea to add the corn meal to the bottoms. Humidity, freshness of the flour and all kinds of factor can affect the amount of flour or water needed in a recipe. I use my bread maker to knead the dough and it always works out perfectly. It is a stiff dough though. Did you knead it with your hands? That could also account for the difference 🙂

  11. Do you have a measurement for non gluten all purpose flour. Sorry if someone else already answered this question but there were so many replies that I can’t read them all.

    1. I’m honestly not sure if this recipe would work with a gluten free flour, I have tried making gluten free breads, but haven’t had enough success to post the recipes on this site.

      Bread is definitely tricky to do gluten free and vegan. But you are welcome to give it a go, the measurement would generally be the same cup for cup.

      I would recommend that you visit my friend Cara’s Site: http://www.forkandbeans.com She has some gluten free and vegan breads that look amazing. Sorry!

  12. Just wondering if anyone has had any trouble with these rising. I am not sure, but I think it may be my oven. We are a military family living overseas, and my oven is a small convection oven. I have tried both with wheat and all white and they both were very flat. :(. I want to figure out the problem. Any advise? Oh, I am kneading by hand by the way. Should I let them rise longer?

    1. Sorry you’ve had trouble with them rising, could be a number of things. The first thing I thought was making sure your yeast is fresh. Then another thought I had is that altitude can affect rising times. I would try letting them rise 30 minutes longer for the first rise and another 10 to 20 minutes for the second rise. Make sure your oven is the correct temperature also when baking. I use an oven thermometer after I found my oven can be as much as 50 degrees warmer at higher temps. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you! I will go down the list and try each thing! These ovens in Korea are ridiculously small. I am sure that probably doesn’t help. If I get them right, I will let you know! The second batch I made was all eaten…they were good, just a little flat 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s