Pretzel Buns (Laugenbrot)
These pretzel buns or Laugenbrot are a specialty in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
I can’t describe how delicious they are, just like a pretzel. Amazing!!!
Pretzel buns are really not difficult to make, and they take about 2 hours from start to finish.
Don’t skip the baking soda bath. Boiling the buns in a baking soda bath prior to baking gives them their signature chewy crust. Traditionally the pretzels were dipped in food-grade lye. However, lye is not easy to find and requires special precautions in order to use it safely.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds as soon as you lift the buns out of the water or they won’t stick.
They are great as a sandwich, with burgers instead of a traditional burger bun or as dinner rolls. I love to eat them hot out of the oven just with butter and maybe a thick slice of Swiss cheese.
You can store the pretzel buns in a zip lock bag for 1 or 2 days. Reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and they’ll taste like they just came out of the oven.
Have you ever had pretzel buns? If your answer is no, you’re missing out! :)
Recipe slightly adapted from Anice e Cannella
Pretzel Buns (Laugenbrot)
- 500 grams (4 cups+2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 270 grams (1 cup+2 tablespoons) water
- 5 grams (1½ teaspoon) dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoon sugar
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) butter at room temperature and diced
- 10 grams (1½ teaspoon) salt
- For the baking soda bath:
- 1 liter (1 quart) water
- 8 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- To sprinkle: coarse sea salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and 150 grams (1¼ cup) of flour. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- Add the remaining flour, butter, salt and mix until the dough is smooth.
- Make a ball, put it in a bowl covered with cling film and let it rise for 30 minutes.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 20-22 pieces (more or less weighting 35 grams/ 1.2 ounces) and shape each piece into a ball.
- Let them rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough rests, bring the water, salt and baking soda to a boil in a large pan.
- Place 7 or 8 balls in the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the balls from the boiling water and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Lightly sprinkle each bun with coarse salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
- Using a very sharp knife, make 2 slits on top of each unbaked roll.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the rolls are deep golden brown.
- Serve the pretzel buns warm.