Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls

Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls

When I was sixteen, I had the opportunity to spend a month living in Germany on an exchange program. While immersed in German culture, my young eyes were opened to the importance of stepping outside of my comfort zone, embracing differences, challenging myself, and fostered a love of travel from early on. Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest is held at the end of September and lasts through the first week of October. 6 million people visit Munich to eat, drink, and be merry. Did you know that there is criteria for the beer sold at Oktoberfest? It must be brewed in Munich, and contain only water, barley, and hops. Read about it here.

One food you are certain to find at Oktoberfest is the humble, hearty, delicious pretzel. Pretzels have made their way recently to American culture beyond the baseball stadium bleachers and have exploded on the food scene. I have seen soft pretzel sticks, bites, buns, and chips in gastropubs, fast food restaurants, and now…. food blogs.

I wanted to create whole wheat pretzel rolls that are easy to make, can function either as dinner rolls or sandwich buns, and that taste good. Easy. Multifunctional. Delicious. They’ll last about a week stored in an airtight container. Bring the flavors of Oktoberfest to your table. Prost!

Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls

Adapted from My Life as a Mrs.

Prep. Time: 75 min. Cook Time: 17 min.


3 cups white whole wheat flour

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon kosher salt + enough for sprinkling

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (or 1 packet)

1/3 cup baking soda

9 cups water

1 egg, beaten


Add 1 cup of warm water (120°ish) to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and sugar together. Add the melted butter (not too hot- below 120°) to the water, then add the dry mixture. Knead with a dough hook for about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl coated lightly with olive oil. Cover with a damp paper towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.

Once dough has risen, knead dough on a lightly floured surface with hands for about 10 minutes. Your dough has been kneaded enough when you press it with your fingers and some of the dough bounces back to place.

Cut the dough in half, then in half again, and so forth until you have 16 2″ pieces. Using the palms of your hands, form each dough piece into a ball.

Dough Ball

Smooth the dough with your fingers down toward the bottom of the ball, then pinch to seal. Continue and set all dough aside on parchment paper.


Preheat oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, boil 8 cups of water. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda. Place back on the heat and simmer. Place 2-3 rolls at a time into the water, cook for 30 seconds, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds on the other side. Remove rolls from the water and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Continue this process with all the pieces of dough.

dough on mat

Brush each roll with the egg, then sprinkle generously with salt. Using a sharp knife, slice an “X” in the top of each roll. Bake for 17 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy!


We’re St. Louis food bloggers who love to cook! Join us on our culinary adventures as we keep a fresh outlook on life, love, and food.

You might also like

Comments (8)

  • Love pretzel rolls and have been looking for a good whole wheat recipe! Can’t wait to try these!

    The Newlywed Chefs 4 years ago Reply

    Hey Jessica! Making them with whole wheat flour is just another excuse to eat two at a time, right? Right? Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • Whole wheat pretzels 4 years ago Reply

    Love these pretzel rolls. Looks amazing. Keep posting

    The Newlywed Chefs 4 years ago Reply

    Thanks! That means a lot coming from a pretzel pro!

  • Claire 3 years ago Reply

    Just made these tonight and they are blowing my mind. There are so few times when I recipe lives up to your expectations and this exceed them. The crust was just right and instantly brought me back to eating soft pretzels as a kid. The center is remarkably light and soft for being whole wheat. In other words…. this is the perfect pretzel recipe and I will be returning to it again and again. Thank you!!!

    The Newlywed Chefs 3 years ago Reply

    Claire, thank you for such a sweet comment! We are both so happy that you enjoyed our recipe!

  • sarah 2 years ago Reply

    i attempted these last night…they didn’t turn out so hot, tried them again and they turned out slightly better but not quite as big as a bun should be and the pictures you post. Am I doing something wrong here, or using the wrong yeast? I was hoping to make these for easter instead of buying them.

    The Newlywed Chefs 2 years ago Reply

    Hi Sarah! Sorry to hear they aren’t working well for you. A couple of things could have impacted the rising process, which would effect the overall size of the rolls. Be sure your water and melted butter aren’t too hot, or else they could kill the yeast. Also, kneading the dough for a full 10 minutes is essential. Overall, these rolls were the roughly the size of the palm of my hand. Hope this helps! Thanks for giving us feedback- we always like to hear from our readers. Happy Easter!

Leave us a comment!