The Trick For Turning Store-Bought Croissants Into Pretzels

There's nothing better than the buttery aroma, chewy texture, and fresh taste of glorious soft pretzels made from scratch, but these types of recipes can take several hours from start to finish. Typically, you'd need to make the dough by hand — which involves mixing it, kneading it, and letting it rise — then deflate the ball and shape it into pretzels. If you want all the goodness that comes with these homemade snacks but without the hours of labor involved, start off with store-bought croissants instead.

You'll need to get a package of canned crescent rolls, such as Pillsbury, to get going here (not already-baked croissants from a coffee shop). Then, all you need to do to transform them into pretzels is douse them in a pot of boiling water with baking soda for just a minute before baking them, thus skipping all the steps required to make the dough. Traditionally, pretzel dough is boiled with lye because of its alkaline properties, which caramelize the sugars and increase browning on the surface. However, if you don't have lye sitting around your pantry, baking soda acts as a worthy substitute. It's also an alkaline ingredient, so it makes for a mahogany, crunchy shell and deliciously caramelized sugars.

Twist your croissant dough into fun pretzel shapes

The beauty of using store-bought croissant dough to make your pretzels is that you can make fun shapes if you want, but you can also just use the typical croissant shape for a simpler method. For the latter, section out your dough and roll each one by following the package instructions. For the former, roll each piece into a log, then twist it into your favorite pretzel shape. If you'd like, you can even make pretzel bites by chopping your dough into smaller pieces, although you'll want to bake them for less time in this case.

While you're doing all this, boil about 10 cups of water, then add ⅔ cup of baking soda. Turn the heat down or off, and carefully dunk your unbaked croissant dough in two at a time for 45 seconds up to a minute at the most. After they've drained on a paper towel, feel free to brush each one with an egg wash for an extra golden crust, along with a sprinkle of salt or seasoning (such as everything but the bagel, parmesan, garlic powder and dill, or ranch seasoning). Then all that's left to do is to move your snacks to a lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven following your package's instructions.