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Pretzel Rolls (a.k.a. Laugen Broetchen)

What you need: 

2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
4 cups flour, divided
pinch sugar
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups water, between 120-130 degrees, divided
1/4-1/2 cup baking soda
5 cups water
coarse salt, as needed

What you do: 

1. In a large metal or a glass bowl, dump yeast, put about 1/4 cup flour, sugar, and pinch salt. Add 1 cup of the hot water, slowly; stir and maintain a lump-free liquid. Let rest for 5 minutes, until it starts creating its own bubblies.
2. Add the rest of the flour and salt, stirring all the while, adding the remaining 1 cup water, intermittently. After all the water has been added, the dough should end up in one kneadable ball; not too sticky to work with your hands, but not too floury to be too dense to stretch and knead. Grease the bowl, and add dough ball back in it. Let rise in a relatively warm environment.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put baking soda in 5 cups of water. The more baking soda, the more pretzely your rolls will taste. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch and knead down. Make 2-3" balls out of dough while bringing the baking soda water to a boil.
4. Let balls rise until water is boiling. Drop balls into baking soda water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Again, the more soda-exposure, the more pretzely the flavor of the rolls. Spoon out with rounded slotted spoon. Allow balls to sit for 1 minute, and then slice cross the top of balls. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
5. Bake for 25 or so minutes. They should be a deep brown color on the outside, and when you tap the top of them, they should sound hollow.
Serve with mustard and beer!

Preparation Time: 
1.5 hours
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 




Super fantastic recipe! I modified it slightly by stuffing the rolls with Daiya cheese and vegan Canadian bacon (stretching the dough slightly, layering cheese and a slice of meat and then rolling it up and sealing the bottom) prior to dropping them into the water/soda mixture. Stuffing them required making the rolls larger, so it didn't make as many (I made 8-10) and they were perfect to take to work or eat for breakfast. Yum!


Not the greatest or clearest of directions and I needed about 1 cup more flour (btw- I used ap flour). Make sure that when you're boiling the dough that all sides are boiled, I had to flip mine over after one side was cooked. The good thing about this recipe is that you'll be able to figure it out really quickly if you're doing something wrong and everything is very easily fixed. The finished product is really good and certainly would go well with beer.


What kind of flour did everyone use? I have bread flour and was wondering if that would work.


I love to bake bread, so this recipe definitely seemed novel since I've never done anything like it. Let's just say making these was exciting =) I had the same water exploding thing that smoceanview had, and made wayyyyy tooo many of these rolls, I was eating them for days :) That's certainly not terrible, as they were super tasty. I lost track of time while boiling them and think I cooked them too much. Despite all that, they turned out awesome. Thanks for the cool recipe - german language lessons aside.


@kissmorticia: my 1st attempt @ this dough also proved quite challenging. The first yeast starter didn't bubble much, I threw it out. The 2nd yeast starter "proofed" much better , thus more bubbles.

When I went to drop the dough balls in the baking soda water they resembled more of a dumpling or drop biscuit shape. I stopped and regrouped, added in much more flour, kneading it a bit, till the dough resembled more of a bread dough.

Then I ran into some trouble boiling the dough balls. Their 1 min. baking soda bath turned into a bubble bath. Loads of bubbles arose from the pot. I had to keep skimming them off. I could hardly see the dough ball, as the bubbles were rising ever higher then the pot!  I told this tale to my scientist friend who said it possibly had to do with the chemical reaction of the rapid rise yeast which had Ascorbic Acid in it interacting with the baking soda bath.

Eventually I got the dough balls boiled and baked. Although they tasted good as a Pretzel roll should that day, I wasn't satisfied with the texture. I put them in the fridge. Two days later I took some of them out, gave them a slight heating in the microwave and Pow, The Pretzel Rolls Rocked! Who knew, 2 days later they would taste that good. The texture was much better later, so I guess they needed to rest a bit after baking. I'm happy with them and plan to make another batch soon.


Hmm what did I do wrong?  I'm sort of an amateur when it comes to baking with yeast.  So my dough stayed extremely sticky and limp.  The "balls" on the cookie sheet were more like puddles of dough that burned and came out as crisp pretzel sheets instead of fluffy pretzel rolls.  I followed the recipe, though I had the yeast in a plastic bowl instead of glass.  Could that be what made the difference?  Any advice on how to modify my dough is welcome!  Thanks!!


sorry but its brotchen not broetchen. brot is bread, chen means small version of, eg katze is a cat, katzen is cats, and katzchen is kitten , so brotchen it is. i live her and learnign german and just plain showing off hehheheh

Actually it is Brötchen, but I guess the person who uploaded didn´t habe the " ö " on the keyboard, so  you write "oe" instead of "ö" 

But one thing that always ticks me off: if someone says or writes Laugen or Brötchen.

This is a Brezensemmel ^^


sorry but its brotchen not broetchen. brot is bread, chen means small version of, eg katze is a cat, katzen is cats, and katzchen is kitten , so brotchen it is. i live her and learnign german and just plain showing off hehheheh

i sure hope these taste as good as the ones we get in the shops here, we fight tooth and nail to get vegan ones sometimes, only a couple of the bakers do them and everyone else looks at you like youve pulled their tooth or summit when you ask them to check for non vegan ingrediants hehehe

i shall be trying them very very soon, and may share some....but i doubt it *shifty eyes*

'Fraid so Dodo. Putting an 'e' after the vowel which needs the vowel shift is just another way of writing it with an umlaut on, so those without an umlaut function on their keyboards can write gramatically correct german.


I love kneadless bread recipes.  

I boiled double the amount of water and baking soda because I wanted to ensure that the dough would be fully immersed, but the rolls float so it's unnecessary to double the water and baking soda.  I put the dough in the water on one side for 30 seconds and then flipped it to the other side for an additional 30 seconds.  The water was only simmering for the first couple and by the fourth, it wasn't simmering at all.  I turned the heat up and those that I boiled for a minute came out perfectly.  I tried to re-boil the first four, but that didn't work out so well.  They never had the same firmness going into the oven as the final rolls and a couple of the rolls from the first four came out of the oven dough-y while the others were pretzel-y.  

The rolls that turned out correctly were great.  They were both chewy and soft while having a nice flavor and salt.  I love salt.  There are biscuits that need something extra, like "butter" to help them out.  These don't need anything.  They are really good on their own.  Plus, they look impressive.

I have mini loaf pans.  Next I'm going to try this bread by putting a small amount in each pan to make chewy hoagie sandwich bread.



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