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Bread Machine Pretzel Buns

Make Bread Machine Pretzel Buns for a fun sandwich or eat them alone with a little mustard.

You can also make this recipe by hand or with a stand mixer. See the notes in the recipe.


My bread machine has been getting a work-out lately. Have I mentioned my son, daughter-in-law and their two sons (4 years and 10 mos) are living with us just until they can find a house? Susie and I both like to bake bread and it’s much more fun with plenty of appreciative people around to eat it.

I’ve been looking to add trendy pretzel buns to my repertoire so when I saw the original recipe for these buns on the King Arthur website, I downsized it and adapted it to the bread machine.

How to make a flatter bun:

I also did not care for the high, round buns they showed in the picture (too much bread in the middle bites), so I devised a way to make mine flatter–more like a traditional sandwich bun. 

Before placing the buns in boiling water, I flattened each bun with my hand. You can see a difference in the shape in the pictures below.

When to use Pretzel Buns:

Because these are chewy like a pretzel, I would suggest a sturdy filling, like a hamburger or a chicken breast. Chicken salad or other gooey concoctions tend to squish out all over the place when you take a bite. At least that’s my experience.

On the other hand, my husband likes to eat the buns best with no filling. He only needs a little mustard.

How to form Bread Machine Pretzel Buns:

tutorial for how to shape the buns

Just in case you need a tutorial for how to make nice round balls, check out the video.

Click here to sign up for a FREE 6-day Quick-Start email course: “Make Fabulous Bread with Your Bread Machine.”

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pinterest image of pretzel buns

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If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at

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Bread Machine Pretzel Buns

Bread Machine Pretzel Buns

Yield: 8 buns
Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes

Make your own pretzel buns for a fun sandwich or eat them alone with a little mustard.



  • 1-1/8 cup (9 ounces) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (360 grams or 13 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon instant or bread machine yeast

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • coarse salt


  1. Add all ingredients except coarse salt to bread machine in order given. Select dough cycle. Open lid and check dough after a few minutes. It should be a slightly sticky ball.
  2. When dough cycle completes (bread dough will rise inside machine during this cycle), remove dough from pan to a floured surface.
  3. Preheat conventional oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Divide dough into 8 portions and make into balls. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare water bath. Add soda and salt to water and bring to a boil.
  6. Gently smash each ball into a flat bun-like shape. Drop each bun into your boiling water bath. Cook 30 seconds, then flip and cook another 30 seconds. They will be wrinkly as a raisin.
  7. Remove each bun to a well-greased cookie sheet or a tray covered with a silicone mat. These buns are prone to major "stickage."
  8. Use a serrated knife or new single-edge razor blade to slice an X into each bun about 1/2 inch deep. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  9. Bake 20-24 minutes.
  10. Remove buns ASAP to a cooling rack. Otherwise, they will stick. When cool, slice horizontally if using for sandwiches.


Alternate Mixing Instructions:

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand: 

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. There is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 buns Serving Size: 1 bun
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 2907mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Hello! I've not made this recipe but have made Pretzel Buns before using dough from my machine. One thing I've learned along the way is that baker's lye used to be used in the old days in the water bath for a richer color and flavor. It's no longer available but I've been told that you can approximate the effect by baking the baking soda to drive water out and thus concentrate it. Anyone heard of this? I'll make a batch from the original recipe and one with the altered baking soda and report back.

So glad to have this. The only store around here that carries pretzel buns calls them seasonal so they are only available June to September. Guess I should tell them how awesome they make breakfast egg "McMuffin" sandwiches any time of year! Thanks, Paula, for all you do in bringing us new challenges!


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Can't wait to hear the results of your experiment.


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I was hoping to my rolls more like logs. Suggestions on any changes I'd need to make to do this?


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Are you wanting crunchy crispy logs or soft pretzels?

Jay Prill

Saturday 11th of April 2020

Ingredient list is confusing I added the baking soda to the dough. They tasted like soup.


Sunday 12th of April 2020

Pretzel soup, eh? I fixed the recipe to be clearer. Thanks for alerting me.

jacqueline dalton

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

i have a 1.5 lb bread machine, could someone please tell me the amounts to make this recipe?? it sounds wonderful and I am so excited to try it. PLEASE Help


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Hi Jacqueline, Thanks for writing. You can use the amounts specified in your machine. No worries. These buns are delicious. Hope you like them.


Thursday 28th of April 2016

Hello I am going to try this recipe tonight. About how big is the diameter after cooked? I want to use them for burger buns. Thanks!