Smarter Than The Average Bun

Start with something soft and simple.

Plunge into a boiling ocean.

Send to vehement depths.

Allow to emerge victorious with the self-assertive crust that every hero needs to succeed.

This is the journey that pretzels are made of.

Overcomplicate the path to grilled fish sandwich heaven by opting to make these homemade pretzel buns. Totally worth every over-explained step!


Homemade Pretzel Buns

1 Cup Whole Milk
2 Tbs. Butter
2 ¼ Tsp. Active Dry Yeast
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

¾ Cup Baking Soda
Big Pot of Water
1 Egg + Splash of Water
Large Granule Sea Salt

In a small pot, warm the milk and butter

  • The goal is not for it to be HOT, just warm, so allow the butter to just melt, then remove the pot from the heat and let sit for a minute before proceeding

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the yeast and brown sugar
Pour the milk over the yeast and brown sugar mixture
Allow to groove for a moment while you measure out 2 Cups of flour
Use a fork to integrate the salt into the flour
Using the dough hook of the mixer, combine the flour with the liquid
Leaving the machine on, slowly sprinkle in ½ a cup of flour, followed by another half cup (more or less) until a ball forms
Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes

  • This is IMPORTANT, so don’t be a lazy!
  • Also, please note that it is totally possible to make this dough without a stand mixer, just a lot easier with it. If the right stand mixer has not yet entered your life, do not feel left out. You can do this on your own; just use a chef’s best tool: clean hands! And maybe you don’t want a stand mixer to ever enter your life. Maybe you are happy without a stand mixer cluttering up your kitchen counter. That is ok. Pretzel dough can still happen, just at a slightly slower pace. You do YOU!

After kneading, the dough should be elastic and smooth
Form into a ball and place in a nicely oiled bowl
Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel, then sequester in a cool dry place for at least one hour so it can RISE UP (Hamilton reference)
After the dough has doubled in size, you are one step closer to luscious pretzel buns!


Bring a large pot of water (about 3 quarts) and ¾ of baking soda up to a boil
Preheat the oven to 400°F
At this point, I divided the dough into 4 round sections, but in the future, I will divide them into 8 at this stage
Boil the dough for 2 minutes, turning them over halfway through
Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a greased baking sheet

  • If 4 sections exist, follow your heart regarding whether you cut each section in half (like I ended up doing) or if you leave them large. Totally up to you!


Use a sharp knife to cut a slash or 2 in the top of the dough
Make an egg wash with one egg and a splash of water and brush on top of each dough ball
Sprinkle the top with desired amount of large granule sea salt (I allowed bearded man husband person to help with this part so the portion turned out to be quite generous, in the best way)
Bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes
Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 10 minutes
Allow to cool on a wire rack and revel in the canvas you have created that is just waiting to be transformed


After allowing to cool, we split the rolls in half and slathered a melted herbed butter on both sides
The bottom bun received grilled bell peppers, chili peppers, jalapenos, shallots and garlic – yes GRILLED GARLIC
Next came grilled tilapia (because cheap and easy to bend to our flavor will)
A little bit more peppers, followed by grated fontina cheese
We placed the plate under the broiler for a couple of minutes to facilitate melting
Top with a dill pickle chip
Marvel at your masterpiece

We served these beauties alongside roasted sweet potato fries and filled individual ramekins with ketchup, spicy mustard, bbq sauce, and sriracha ketchup for fry dipping, as well as to dip sections of our sandwiches, composing an orchestra of flavorful bites.

Enjoy this savory stack of spectacular!

Pretzel Bun Recipe Inspiration from AllRecipes


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I really need to amp up the self-assertion of my crust.


  2. copychrisseo says:

    I ate this!


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