Saturday, June 14, 2008

In Search of Pretzel Croissants

Technically, I already have access to them, but still. I'm not sated.

Pretzel Croissants recently came to Northern California. At last. My town, outside of the Bay Area, just last year opened its first cupcake bakery, to give you an idea that we lag WAY behind New York and its cupcakeries, or City Bakery andtheir pretzel croissants, pictured at right, and other food cities -- despite being a short distance from San Francisco.

Anyway, we finally got Pretzel Croissants by way of OctoberFeast (what a great name) German Bakery, which sells them at our Farmer's Market. They are darker than your average croissant -- the exterior flaky layer is a deep, caramelized brown. The interior tastes exactly like any other croissant. This happens to be GOOD, moist, flaky croissant, but only an average Pretzel Croissant, because there is only a hint of that pretzel flavor. No salt or sesame crunch on the exterior. Worse, they are very expensive -- $3.00 per croissant means I can' t just buy a bag of them and freeze them.

So. In preparing to thaw and bake off what I consider to be a very good frozen croissant dough from Trader Joe's (which I understand uses the same baker who makes frozen croissants for Williams-Sonoma), I had an idea.

Hey. I've made Pretzel Bread before and that wasn't hard. The secret to good pretzels and bagels is to boil them in a baking soda and water bath, first. Why not try it on frozen croissants?! If it worked, I could salt them and everything!

I was willing to throw myself on that grenade for you people, my foodie friends, to find out if I could achieve a Pretzel Croissant Flavor, without the Pretzel Croissant Price. I got out two frozen croissants, brought a big pot water to a boil, threw in some baking soda, and as I started to boil them, I figured one of a few things would happen:

A) It will have no effect whatsoever. You have two Pretzels for which you did nothing more than add an extra step to what otherwise is a pretty simple process: Thaw, Raise and Bake.

B) You will ruin two pieces of frozen croissant dough by boiling what was supposed to be tender flaky dough, and turn it into strands of gooey white yeasty smelling mucus.

C) You will make two Pretzel Croissants using nothing more than your above-average imagination and ingenuity. People will exclaim "Why didn't *I* think of that? Man, I'm never buying a $3.00 croissant again. I'm going to write about this and link to Kate's blog. If Tastespotting were still available, which it isn't, which depresses the shit out of me, I would submit Kate's picture of her basket of Pretzel Croissants because it is nothing short of FOOD PORNOGRAPHY.

The results are in, my friends and the answer is.... ?



  1. delicious do these look!? i've been wanting to do anything pretzel for a long time. this looks awesome.

  2. Well the pictured croissant, with the sesame seeds, is from City Bakery. The pics of the pretzel bread is mine however! Hope you meant the bread! :)

  3. *blinks* Foreign bakeries? Near ME? Yessssssssssss! Thank you so much.

  4. I think you mean OctoberFeast. Their pretzels, bread, and pretzel croissants are awesome. I buy them at the Sunday Farmer's Market in Sacramento (downtown), but the bakery hails from Marin County, and they have a website. They also sell at the Marin Farmer's Market at the Civic Centre. Happy hunting!