Apr 28, 2014

Pretzel Croissants

Pretzel Croissants

Pretzel croissants. There are cronuts, so why not pretzel croissants?

They get their "pretzel-ness" because they are prepared with a dough made with beer instead of water, dipped into a baked baking soda wash, and then sprinkled with salt. Maybe they should they be called "pretzants," or perhaps "crotzels."

Pretzel Croissants

How do they taste? Croissants, yes. Pretzels, not so much. Except that they have that beautiful dark burnished look and a sprinkling of salt on the outside.

Regardless, I'd rather spread these with jam as opposed to dip them in mustard... although sliced lengthwise to make a sandwich... that works!

Pretzel Croissants

Any time I make laminated dough I feel so proud. I"m not sure why I always get intimidated, because the results are magical layers upon layers of flaky and buttery dough.

Making laminated dough requires some patience and planning, especially with the final roll out of the dough. I spread out the steps to make these over two and a half days (mostly inactive time). I made the dough and the butter block on a Friday night and stuck them in the refrigerator. The next day, I completed the 3 lamination "turns" over the course of a few hours, refrigerating the dough between turns. On Sunday, I did the final roll out, shaping, and baking.

The trick is to keep the dough and the butter cold. This is why it takes a couple of days. It's worth it kiddos.

Clearly you must be wondering why I am trying a new croissant recipe when I'd just declared that I had found the best laminated dough recipe ever in this post? Because my friend Heather of Girlichef is the Bread Baking Babes kitchen of the month, and she picked this recipe to challenge herself to make something she loves as well as try a new technique. When Heather says "try this," I'm there.

I am definitely adding this dough and technique to my bread making tool box. I had never heard about baking baking soda to substitute it for lye for pretzels. I also loved the folding technique to add more layers to the dough.

Please visit Heather's post to see photos of the process. She also has links for the other Babes' experiences with this dough.

Pretzel Croissants



1/2 C lukewarm (110 degrees F) milk
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
3 T brown sugar
410 grams (3 1/4 C) unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
2 T room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 C cold pilsner/lager beer (I used Dos Equis)
A few tablespoons of water if the dough is too dry

Butter Block

24 T (3 sticks) of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 T unbleached all purpose flour

Baked Baking Soda Wash

1/4 C baking soda
8 C cold water

Egg Wash and Topping

1 egg yolk
1 T milk
Coarse sea salt
Sesame or poppy seeds


To make the dough (day 1)

  1. Mix all of the dough ingredients in a bowl with a dough whisk.
  2. Knead the dough briefly with your hands to just incorporate all of the ingredients. The dough should be tacky but not sticky. If it is too dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time. My original dough was really dry, but, after an overnight rest in the refrigerator, it behaved amazingly well. 
  3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and turn it to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. 

To make the butter block (day 1)

  1. Beat the butter and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for about a minute. 
  2. Place the butter on top of a sheet of plastic wrap and place another sheet on top. 
  3. Roll the butter out to a 8 by 9 inch rectangle. Use a ruler to make sure the edges are straight and the corners are sharp. 
  4. Wrap and place the butter block in the refrigerator with the dough to chill. 

To bake the baking soda (day 1)

  1. Spread the baking soda onto a baking sheet and bake for one hour in a 250 degree oven. 
  2. Cool and store in an airtight container.

To make the croissants (day 2)

  1. Turn the cold dough out onto a lightly floured surface. 
  2. Roll it into a 10 inch by 15 inch rectangle. Make sure the corners are squared by pulling the dough with your hands. The 15 inch edge of the dough should be facing you. 
  3. Place the butter block over the right 2/3 of the dough, leaving a one inch border on the outer edges. 
  4. Fold the left portion of the dough that does not have butter on it over half of the butter block. Fold the right portion of the dough, which has butter on it, over the dough that has just been folded over the dough. You should have a tri-fold that is dough, butter, dough, butter, dough. Squeeze the edges together, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour. 
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. 
  6. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch by 20 inch rectangle with the 20 inch side facing you. Mentally divide the dough into fourths and fold each outer fourth into the middle. Then fold the dough over itself so that you have a "book" of four layers. Press the layers together and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. 
  8. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch by 15 inch rectangle with the 15 inch side facing you. Do a trifold, folding the left and right sides over each other so that you have three layers of dough. Press the layers together and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, and up to 24 hours. I let mine rest over night in the refrigerator.

To make the croissants (day 3)

  1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment and set aside. 
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 15 inch by 18 inch rectangle. I found lightly dusting both sides of the dough with flour, flipping it between rolls, and letting it rest for a few minutes. made this easier. Stretch the dough to make a rectangle with corners. 
  3. Cut the rectangle in half widthwise, to make two 15 by 9 inch strips. Cut each strip into three equal rectangles. 
  4. Cut the rectangles diagonally in half to create triangles. 
  5. Beginning at the bottom of each triangle, roll up the dough, tucking the pointy part under so it doesn't go rogue (this is always something I forget), and place them on the baking sheets. 
  6. Cover the croissants with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise until very slightly puffy, for about 2 hours. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  8. Mix the baked baking soda with 8 cups of cold water. 
  9. Dip each croissant into the water, let the excess drip off, and place them back onto the baking sheets. 
  10. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the salt and seeds. 
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets about halfway through. The finished croissants should be a deep golden brown.
  12. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. 
  13. Leftovers can be warmed in a 350 degree oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. 
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  1. Why not? I love pretzels and croissants so I am going to try these!

  2. Oh, they certainly did make a delectable sandwich, Karen! I'm so happy that you tried them, despite already having the perfect laminated dough recipe (because hey, you never know, right!?). They turned out absolutely gorgeous! :)

    1. You never know is right!! Thanks so much!

  3. You are amazing, Karen. Always turning out the most beautiful baked goods.

    1. Wow! Karen , these are gorgeous and clearly look like they are worth the couple of days of steps. You are a great baker and cook.

    2. Thanks so much Cheri! I'm honored!

  4. These look absolutely amazing! It's a clever idea combining pretzels and croissants and certainly one that I've never come across before. Yuummm!!

    1. Thank you! Neither had I come across the concept.

  5. You have taken one of my favorites (croissants) and combined it with mu husband's (pretzels). Beautiful!

  6. Your croissants look like from the French patisserie!

    1. Thank you Medeja! That is such a nice thing to say.

  7. Speechless. Seriously impressed, these look incredible!

  8. Wow! Your lamination is spectacular. These are gorgeous. And I'm with you, they're much more suited to being dipped in jam rather than mustard.

  9. Fabulous job Karen! I like the sound of Pretzants and Crotzels!

  10. I've never made laminated dough Karen. In fact, I've never heard of the term. (!) But now I'm intrigued! These are some of the prettiest rolls I've ever seen. This is sheer deliciousness!

  11. Love this concept - bread made with beer? Crazy but the result speaks for itself.


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