Signature Hybrid Pretzel Buns

With a deep, golden crust and distinctive pretzel taste, these bakery-worthy buns offer a delightful twist to any meal.

  • Yield: 9 hamburger buns/15 dinner rolls
  • Prep Time: 3 hr
  • Cook Time: 20 min


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup whole milk, divided
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons food-grade lye
2 1/2 cups cold water
Pretzel salt
1 egg white, beaten (for egg wash)


Brown the Butter

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a small glass bowl.
  2. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Swirl the pan and heat until the butter foams and the milk solids brown and smell nutty.
  4. Scrape the butter and browned bits into the glass bowl with the remaining butter and stir until all butter is melted and smooth.
  5. Let the butter solidify before proceeding.

Make the Tangzhong

  1. In the same saucepan, whisk 1/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup water, and 25g Caputo "00" Chef's Flour over medium heat, stirring constantly until it forms a paste.
  2. Scrape the paste into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Finish the Dough

  1. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup whole milk into the same saucepan and heat to 100F.
  2. Whisk in the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, sugar, 1 egg, and 360g Caputo "00" Chef's Flour to the mixing bowl with the tangzhong.
  4. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then add the 2 teaspoons of salt.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
  6. Reduce the speed to low and add 6 tablespoons of the browned butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all butter is incorporated.
  7. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Proof for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.
  10. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide into equal portions:
- 15 dinner rolls (1 and 7/8 oz each) – 9x13" pan

- 9 hamburger buns (3 oz each) – bun pan

- 6 long sandwich rolls (4 1/2 oz each) – silicone lined sheet pan

  1. Form and roll dough into desired shape, maintaining a smooth and taut surface.
  2. Place rolls on a silicone lined sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Proof for 35-45 minutes until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F on a convection setting (or 375F non-convection).
  5. Taking proper safety precautions and wearing disposable gloves and safety glasses, add the lye to the cold water in a non-reactive plastic container and mix with a plastic spoon.
  6. Dip each roll in the solution for 30 seconds, flipping once to submerge both sides. Transfer back to silicone lined sheet pan and continue with the remaining rolls.
  7. Baste the top of the buns with an egg wash and generously sprinkle with pretzel salt.
  8. Score an "x" in the top of each roll with a bread lame or sharp knife.
  9. Bake until the rolls are dark brown and the internal temperature reads 200F (12-20 minutes depending on size/shape of the rolls and oven function).
  10. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!

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    About the Chef

    Meet Chef Erin Hungsberg

    Chef Erin Hungsberg

    My food expresses a deep pride celebrating scratch cooking in my home kitchen and a quest for the best. My photography highlights both my skill and passion for the craft of the culinary arts.

    My undergraduate background lies in Fine Art and that creativity fuels my culinary ambitions. I am inspired by the world around me and love sharing my culinary viewpoint with anyone hungry to listen.