Pretzel Buns (Laugenbrot)

16 Pieces
1 hr 35 min

One of my favourite bread recipes ever. It's super quick and easy to make, and it tastes fantastic. You can also make it in batches and freeze for the week!

I discovered these on a trip to Vienna once - pretzel buns (or Laugenbrot) are quite popular in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. It definitely tastes the best when it's fresh out of the oven with a generous spread of butter on top, but also work great as burger buns or sandwiches. Personally, I like to have it for breakfast with scrambled eggs on top!

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The pretzel buns work beautifully as burger buns! Here is how you make the vegan burger patty pictured.

Recipe details

  • 16  Pieces
  • Prep time: 75 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 35 min
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Bread starter

  • 300g (2 1/2 cup) all purpose flour*
  • 540ml (2 1/4) lukewarm water*
  • 20g (4 1/4 tsp) fresh yeast (or 10g (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast)
  • 20g (1 1/2 tbsp) sugar


  • 700g (5 3/4 cup) all purpose flour*
  • 20g (3 1/2 tsp) salt
  • 60g (1 1/2 tbsp) soft butter
  • poppy seeds (optional)

Soda bath

  • 1L (4 1/4 cup) water
  • 10g (2 1/2 tsp) baking soda
  • 10g (2tsp) salt


For the bread starter

Mix the yeast with water and sugar, and wait 5 minutes to activate
Add 300g (2 1/2 cup) of flour and mix everything with a fork
Cover and set aside for 30 minutes

For the bread

Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl
Knead for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and jumps up when pressed with a finger
Cover again and set aside for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size
Preheat the oven to 200 celsius (390 fahrenheit)
Gently deflate the dough (punch it) and divide into 16 pieces, around 100-110 grams each
Roll each piece into a ball and set aside

For the soda bath and baking

In a large pan, simmer the water with salt and baking soda - don't let it boil too much, just small bubbles at the bottom will do
Transfer the buns into the soda bath in batches of 4-5 at a time, so they don't touch each other - let them boil for 30 seconds on either side
Transfer the pre-boiled buns onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, make small slits across the top and sprinkle with poppy seeds and salt
When all of the buns have been pre-boiled, transfer the tray into your preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy


  • You know your yeast is active when it starts being fluffy and bubbly after 5 minutes. If it doesn't, discard and use another batch of yeast
  • The soda bath is done to give the buns a golden, crispy crust. This is what makes them different from regular buns!
  • For those of you using US measurements: According to the online converters, 8US cups of flour equal to 1kg flour. 2 1/2 US cups water equal to about 500ml water, i.e 0.5kg. So in metric measurements, the ratio is 2:1 because we are comparing weight. In US measurements the ratio is 4:1 because here we're comparing the volume. If you take the same weight flour and water, you will have twice as much flour volume. It's like comparing a pound of feathers to a pound of lead. They weigh the same, but the pound of feathers will definitely take up more space ;) US measurements will never be fully exact and it is possible that there's slightly too much flour as no two cups will ever have the same weight. That's why for baking I'd either recommend buying a kitchen scale or adding the flour gradually to make sure there's not too much of it. I apologise for the inconvenience, I've never worked with US measurements, I only include them in the recipes because so many of you have asked me to. Good luck :)

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  • Kara Wurtzel Kara Wurtzel on Jul 11, 2020

    Not only do these look delicious, but they are SO pretty!

    • Agata Agata on Jul 13, 2020

      I'm glad you liked them!

  • Kit Kit on Aug 06, 2020

    Would love to try these! Can you provide recipe using cups, teaspoons, etc?

    • Agata Agata on Aug 31, 2020

      The recipe is now up in US measurements :)