Pretzel Challah Rolls

Author Notes: I wouldn’t describe myself as a sports fan per say. Maybe it’s because I am from Connecticut and we have no legitimate sports teams aside from my beloved (RIP!) Hartford Whalers. I mean I enjoy a good football tailgate, mostly for the keg stands of course. And who doesn’t like the Super Bowl- I look forward to the spread of food all year! And of course baseball- ah day drinking and jumbo pretzels. No wonder it is America’s pastime!

Now I no longer have to sit through nine innings to get my pretzel fix- I cracked the code on pretzel challah! Boiling pretzels in water and baking soda gives it that crunchy brown crust and a pretzely taste (sounds reminiscent of bagels!) Would that work for challah as well? Works like a charm. I decided to make these into adorable little rolls. Can’t you just imagine the best sandwich ever on one of these suckers?
What Jew Wanna Eat

Makes: 12


  • 1 Envelope instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups Bread flour
  • 3/4 cup Warm water (about 100 degrees)
  • 2 Large eggs plus 1 for glazing
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 quarts Water
  • 1/2 cup Baking soda
In This Recipe


  1. First up, make your slurry combining 3/4 cup of flour, yeast and 3/4 cup warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until it puffs up. Then whisk in the two eggs, salt, sugar and oil until incorporated.
  2. Then add the rest of the flour and mix with a dough hook (or knead by hand!) until smooth- about 5-10 minutes. Place the dough in a warm, cleaned bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.
  3. Now divide the ball into 12 equal pieces- first divide in two and then divide each half in three and each of those pieces in half.
  4. Roll each of these balls into a strand. You may have an issue of them stretching out. I did! That darn gluten. Let the strands rest and roll out again until each strand is about 10 inches long.
  5. Now to make the rolls! Tie each strand into a knot, and then tuck the other ends under. Repeat with the other 11 rolls.
  6. Proof again for another 1.5 hours and now it’s time to boil! Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring 3 quarts (12 cups) of water and 1/2 cup baking soda to a boil, making sure all the baking soda is dissolved.
  7. Put six rolls in at a time and let boil for about 30 seconds. Flip and boil for 30 more seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and dab off any excess water. Repeat with the other 6 rolls and put them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Whisk up one egg and egg wash the rolls. Then sprinkle with a coarse salt.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and it’s challah time!

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Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

sarah August 3, 2014
I just made these rolls and they taste wonderful!! I love the texture and flavor! I just have one were you guys able to get the rolls into the pot to boil without "deflating" them...mine were flat which is my only complaint. Thanks!
Author Comment
What J. March 25, 2013
Yay! Great to hear :)
Nicholas B. March 25, 2013
Okay, thank you! Mine looked a little light, so I went with 24 minutes on the cooking time. Best pretzels I've ever made, I'm never going back.
Author Comment
What J. March 24, 2013
I did 350 degrees F.
Nicholas B. March 24, 2013
What temperature do you bake these at? I was going to guess 425 but wanted to play it safe. Looks good!