“laugenbrezel” buns

GUTEN TAG! Willkommen in Dishntell. This week we are dishing up a Deutsch favorite in honor of the festival known for its excessive drinking of beer and eating of bratwurst.

What is: Oktoberfest.

Hofbräu and a laugenbrezel

I went to my first two Oktoberfests this past week to witness the traditional German dancing and not-so-traditional beer keg tossing contests. Granted, neither of these festivals sized up to the annual Oktoberfest held in München, but the brew was as good as the accordion music and, therefore, I was a happy German wannabe.

Band Squeezebox

"Prost!" Hanging out with some Germans.

My first Oktoberfest experience was in Frankenmuth, Michigan, also known as Michigan’s little Bavaria. I ventured there with my friends Emily, Sam, Lisa, and Mackenzie, all of whom beered, cheered, danced, and ate monumental amounts of sausage.

[And oh shnitz, it was good.]

I loved the pretzels they were selling at this faux Deutschland because, unlike the hats, beer steins, dirndl, lederhosen, and Oktoberfest t-shirts for sale, a $4 pretzel was not going to eat a hole through my wallet (which is, metaphorically, pretty swiss-cheesy to begin with). I decided to make these pretzel rolls at home because they’re infinitely better than the kind you’ll find in the freezer section, and they function fantastically as sandwich rolls. I would suggest using these soft pretzels as hotdog buns, but I fear you would then have a zero percent chance of self control (considering how great of a combination that is).


Lye Pretzel Rolls

(Makes 8 6-inch hotdog buns — Recipe from SheSimmers)

For the dough:

6 fl. oz. lukewarm water, divided

10 g active dry yeast

4 fl. oz. lukewarm milk

80 g light or dark brown sugar

4 g salt

24 g butter, melted and cooled

480 g bread flour, plus more as needed

For the boiling liquid:

6 cups water

1/2 cup baking soda


Grated cheddar

Celery Seeds

Caraway seeds

Coarse salt

Sesame seeds



In a mixing bowl, mix 4 fl. oz. of warm water with yeast and just a tiny pinch of brown sugar; let yeast bubble up (6-8 minutes).

Add remaining water as well as everything else, except flour, into yeast bowl; mix by hand. Slowly add flour and knead vigorously until you get a smooth, non-sticky dough. Add more flour as needed, one tablespoon at a time (12-15 minutes).

Form dough into a large ball, cover with a towel, and let rest for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, cut into 8 equal pieces.

Shape a piece of dough into a 5-inch log of approximately 1.5 inches in diameter with tapered ends. Arrange dough logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space around each log.

Cover logs with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Prehead ove to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the water in a pot and bring to a gentle boil.

Add baking soda. You will see lots of bubbles; that’s okay.

Gently lift up each piece of dough, trying your best to keep the integrity of its hape. Slowly plunge each piece of dough into the simmering liquit, “pretty side first.”

Boil one ot two pieces of dough at a time, 20 seconds per side. With a slotted spoon, scoop dough from liquid, shake excess water, and gently place on the same parchment-lined sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between each bun.

With a sharp knit, make 3-4 diagonal cuts on each hot dog bun, about 1/4 inch deep.

Sprinkle with topping(s) of your choice.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until pretzel buns develop a dark caramel color on the outsides.

Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack, loosely covered with a kitchen towel.



Filed under Breads

61 responses to ““laugenbrezel” buns

  1. These look delicious! I also love the idea of topping them off with different flavors. Great idea!

  2. These look great! I’m a little iffy with using yeast (since half the time, my yeast turns out to be dead and doesn’t rise) but your buns look so poofy.

  3. Oktoberfest has also been brought here in Manila. It is an event where beers are sold at a very cheap price. It may not match to the kind of celebration you have but it sure is always fun :)

  4. Yum! I’m most of the way German and very jealous of your experience at Frankinmuth. It’s a cute town in July, when I went, but it must be just fabulous now!

    • I had been waiting since last October to go! (I didn’t realize Oktoberfest wasn’t ACTUALLY in October, so I missed it last year). Are you from Michigan? Great little city!

  5. These look so yummy! I should try to make this!

  6. Did I read this right??

    Aren’t there any eggs in them. If not, then great.

  7. This looks great! I have a soft pretzel roll recipe I want to try soon but maybe I will have to try this one first! :)

  8. This looks so good. Thank you so much for sharing. Connie

  9. Mmm, they look so good! I visited Frankenmuth briefly several years ago. It’s a clever little town.

  10. v1ct0r1a

    These look incredible. Even though I am battling gluten intolerance, I WILL be trying these rolls. I am crazy about pretzels. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. akatwentyeight

    i had NO idea what laugenbrezel was until this post, i bet it’s delicious with those toppings..thanks for sharing!


  12. I have to try this :) I love pretzels and this seems so practical and tasty!

  13. odorunara

    Oh, Frankenmuth! I went there to get away from Ann Arbor one weekend. I think I ate chicken dinner leftovers for three days after. I live in Japan and really miss good bread, so I will try this out!

  14. So this recipe uses brown sugar. (?) I have to tell my partner –he’s German-Canadian. His mother was a fabulous baker because she trained in traditional old World pastry chef techniques when they lived in Germany. We all have fond memories of her multi-layer tortes –mocha, chocolate, etc. with hazelnut crumb and other interesting crumb variants.

    But she never really got into pretzel bread making at all. (Did dumpfnudel.)

    Ein Prosit! I also grew up in Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario which hosts Canada’s biggest Oktoberfest. It’s an area with historical roots in German and Mennonite groups. Over 50% of my school mates had German last names. During Oktoberfest week at school, some of the kids, proud and brave enough, wore dirndls and even lederhosen. Yup. This was in the 1970’s.

  15. I learnt German at school (and still do!) and our whole class went on a trip there a few years ago. This little post helped me to relive the joy of Oktoberfest in München! You can’t beat German cuisine and these look delicious.

    Schönen Blogeintrag!

  16. these look excellent and perfect for soaking up al that beer!

  17. I’d love to have been there. It’s always looked like fun, something Germans are not normally known for. The pretzels look amazing. My favourite time in Germany is christmas where you can have Gluevine (however its spelt) and big fat sausages cooked outside in the -ve degree temps. But octboerfest is the next best thing

  18. Pingback: Weekly round-up | drink. eat. play. repeat.

  19. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Your rolls look like they are to die for. I love to cook for Oktoberfest, drink Spaten beef and Bush black whiskey.

  20. Aww! These look yummy enough even for a Shinigami’s drool

  21. ipegasus

    Love your blog, so…you are therefore nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award xP

  22. Pingback: » Best o' the wurst

  23. realanonymousgirl2011

    Awesome! What fun! I’m going to an Oktoberfest next week our friend hosts every year. They micro brew 4 of their own beers.

  24. Oooh… That sounds perfect.

  25. Tried it last night worked very well. The Brezeln tasted like back in Germany. However I have to practice a bit so that they look as nice as yours.

  26. This looks so yummy!
    Bookmarking this to make later this week when I get some time. I can’t wait!

  27. I will certainly be trying these pretzels. Look sooooo tasty! They would be great for beer night!

  28. I’m German, and i find it great that you posted a recipe, ill try it out and see if you got it right! im so excited to try them!!!

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