According to pretzel bread recipe, raw dough buns must be dipped for 30 seconds into a water with baking soda before going into the over in order for them to develop that pretzel brown crust, but it also seems to make the crust quite hard. Is there anything I should add or do to make the pretzel bun's crust soft like this:

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All the recipes I tried to follow on the internet came out with a very hard pretzel crust.

  • It would be helpful if you would post the recipe and method you have used, or at least one of them. Are you using a recipe/method for a pretzel bun or modifying a regular pretzel recipe?
    – GdD
    Jun 28, 2017 at 12:26
  • I'm aware of the need to post recipes in some cases, yet here I thought somebody knows an ultimate trick, a certain ingredient that is needed to make the crust soft irrespective of any particular recipe. The majority of recipes on the internet that come up at the top of YouTube/Google search result make the hard crust, as baking soda that is required for that pretzel brown crust gets hard after baking.
    – qwaz
    Jun 28, 2017 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


Since what you're making is a pretzel that you want to act like a soft loaf, I would try treating it like a bread.

To keep the crust on homemade bread soft, people brush the top with a fat of some kind (usually butter). So you could try liberally brushing the tops of your buns with butter when they're fresh from the oven and still hot. That should keep the "crust" of your mini-loaf nice and soft.

  • Brushing with milk is another way of softening bread crust. Even adding water (or trapping the loaf's steam) may help soften the crust, though I'd expect fats to give a better and longer-lasting result.
    – Megha
    Jul 1, 2017 at 5:37

Dipping pretzels in an alkaline solution is what makes the outside brown and hard. If you want them to be less brown and hard, just dip them for a shorter period of time - they would be soft and white if you didn't dip them (or if you dipped them in plain water).

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