Breads & Doughs

Crazy Dough Pretzels

4.69 from 54 votes
Crazy Dough is one easy recipe for how to make bread and endless variations including my Crazy Dough Pretzels for chewy, salty bread you can enjoy anytime.
Crazy Dough Pretzels - 1 dough that can make a variety of breads from Pretzels to Cinnamon Rolls.

Hi Bold Bakers!

When I started experimenting with Crazy Dough I was so glad to find out it made great pretzels. Just to recap if you are finding out about Crazy Dough for the first time it is one simple, no knead yeast dough you can use to make a variety of completely different breads like Naan, Homemade Pizza and even Cheesy Bread loafs. All you need is my easy Master Recipe.

I cannot wait to show you how to transform my Crazy Dough Master Recipe into Crazy Dough Pretzels! I absolutely love to make pretzels. There really is something special about tearing off a piece of chewy salty bread and dipping them into a cheesy sauce or special mustard or enjoying them all on their own.

Just like any other pretzel dough all I did was divide my Crazy Dough into 10 parts. From there I stretch each piece into a long skinny snake and twist it around itself to form that classic pretzel shape. This sounds complex but it’s really fun and easy. Be sure to have a look at my other homemade soft pretzels video to see how to perfect your pretzel making technique.

After shaping each pretzel I popped them into a pot of boiling water mixed with baking soda. This is the secret to that chewy pretzel texture. Lastly after just 30 seconds poaching in the water I brushed each pretzel with egg to make it shine, sprinkled them generously with salt and popped them into the oven for just 15 minutes. This is definitely one of my favorite ways to use my crazy dough recipe simply because pretzels are something you never think to make at home. You have to give these a try, they are just as fun to make as they are to eat!

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Want even more Crazy Dough Recipes? Check out my Cheesy Bread, Homemade Pizza and Naan Bread.

Watch The Recipe Video!

Crazy Dough Pretzels

4.69 from 54 votes
Crazy Dough is one easy recipe for how to make bread and endless variations including my Crazy Dough Pretzels for chewy, salty bread you can enjoy anytime.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Crazy Dough is one easy recipe for how to make bread and endless variations including my Crazy Dough Pretzels for chewy, salty bread you can enjoy anytime.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10


  • 1 Crazy Dough Recipe
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 6 cups (48floz/1,440ml) water
  • 6 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten for brushing


  • Once your crazy dough recipe has proofed turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 8 balls.
  • While the balls of dough are resting boil 6 cups of water with 6 teaspoons of baking soda and line a large baking trey with parchment paper.
  • To shape: take each piece of dough and begin rolling them on the counter. Bang the dough on the counter like I do in my classic pretzel video. You may need to shape into a long log but they will just naturally get longer and longer. Keep going until you reach 20-24 inches (60 cm). Twist the ends of the dough and press onto the the opposite sides of the pretzel.
  • Put straight into boiling water with baking soda and poach for JUST 30 seconds, then place on a baking tray. This boiling step is the secret to firm skin and adds that pretzel flavor.
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt
  • Bake 450oF (225oC) for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


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131 thoughts on “Crazy Dough Pretzels

  1. The crazy dough recipe is really “crazy”!! I love pretzel and this was awesome! I have a question, my parchment paper sticked to the pretzel after cooking and could not get it out. Is it because of the water when I boiled it?do i need to pat it dry the bottom before putting it in the oven? Other than that, it was perfect. The slight crunch of the outside and the inside texture is superb! Thanks again Gemma,

    1. Hi there,
      that is great, I am delighted you enjoyed this bake.
      I think your parchment sounds more like greaseproof paper – that is a different thing. Parchment is silicon coated, it resists water too, and resists all sticky things in the bake.
      The answer for you is to butter the baking tray, then affix the paper to that, OR, butter the pan, scatter on some flour and shake the pan to distribute, this is a great way to get a non-stick finish for all of your baking, the exception being really large cakes or rich fruit cakes where the pan should be lined.
      I hope this is of help, thank you for this kind review,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Absolutely fantastic!!
    One of our friends said they tasted better than Auntie Annie’s pretzels!! =) I’m kind of shocked we pulled it off, but honestly, they could not be easier!

    Your bold baker,

  3. Hi Gemma,
    I loved your recipe and I’ve try couple of them. And next one is crazy dough.
    Just quick questions, can I use the bread flour? And in the step 4 to poach the dough, can I use baking powder instead of baking soda? Thanks.

    1. Hi Santi,
      do not use baking powder, you can use a little salt and proceed.
      Yes, you can readily use bread flour in this recipe. Do watch that the dough comes together in a clean ball. Add 3/4 of the liquid in one go, then little by little until it is just right. Different flours absorb liquids in different ways, take it easy!
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Hey Gemma love your recipes. If I don’t eat egg what can I substitute the egg wash with to get the same golden top? I out butter and mine turned out very pale.

  5. Been experimenting with your crazy dough and tried the Pretzel today. Turns out it’s a success 😀 So happy with quarantine time, I have time to try out your precious recipes ❤️❤️❤️

  6. My 6 year old son LOVES making these with me. I used your crazy dough for both pretzels and naan breads one day and we had the most fun. They turn out perfectly every time. I just whip up some dough in the morning and after a few hours we are ready to go. Perfection.

    Do you have any suggestions for sweet pretzels?

  7. I was afraid…but I said I’m going no where being in quarantine! My 1time using this crazy bread recipe….now I’m going to make another batch. So easy and yummy! Don’t be afraid!

  8. I just love your recipes!! It makes the lockdown so less boring! Thank you so much. I never thought I would ever be able to bake these

    1. I’m happy to hear that Roelien, despite the circumstances. Baking is an important life skill, hence anytime spent baking during these interesting times, is productive. Stay safe.

  9. These were excellent! Highly recommend. Gemma- thanks for being such a great teacher. You do a fantastic job explaining things.

  10. Hi Gemma,
    What else can I use instead of egg for brushing the pretzels? Would just olive oil work?
    Thanks much,

  11. Chef you are awesome your techniques are so explanatory your recipes are delicious indeed thank you for sharing 💖 many blessings to you and your family greetings from El Paso Tx

    1. Hi! I totally agree with Bea. You are superb! Never once have i failed wth the bakes i made from your recipes. Your sincerity in teaching every single recipe in your videos helped alot! My best purchase thus far has been ur Bigger bokder baking book! Will u be doing up a recipe book on bread, pastries etc? Lovee, Aishah from Singapore 😊

      1. Thank you for your kind words, Aishah and for getting a copy of my cookbook. A second book is still in the works as I have to test the recipes several times before it gets into the shortlist. Being a new mum however, requires me to realign my priorities especially in these interesting times. Stay tuned to my Youtube Channel, Facebook or Instagram for updates. I hope you are well and safe in Singapore. Best, Gemma

    1. Hi Trish,
      yes! perfect for this application. Try it, it works really well. When you wish to use them they will defrost while the oven is heating, then pop them in for 5 minutes or so to refresh.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. We had this for dinner. Sea salt & cinnamon sugar. The recipe yielded 8 but there’re only 2 left now. My 21 month monster baby girl had 1/3 of one! Nothing is better than freshly homemade bread! My first two batches failed a while ago. Thank you Gemma for helping me out to realize there was excess soda water on the dough. So I lined a cooling rack with paper towel and rest the baking soda water boiled dough on it and pat dry the dough with paper towel. They turned out crunchy all over outside especially the bottom and so soft inside. Mahalo ❤️

  13. Hi Gemma

    I made the pretzels today and was amazed how easy they were. I don’t cook so much now as I have arthritis in my hands and I find kneading dough painful. Your crazy dough is fantastic I hardly had to do anything to it and my pretzels turned out so good. I only made 3 to start with as I wanted to use the rest of the dough to try other things. I also forgot to take a photo of them before they got eaten. Love your website and I will be trying more things in the coming weeks. Thank you

  14. Hello Gema,

    I am Elena from Spain,

    I tried to do this recipe with gluten free flour and it’s been imposible. The dough broke and it’s not elastic even a little bit.

    Do you have any trick for it???

    Thank you a lot.

    1. Hi Elena,

      So I’m sorry but when you use a gluten free and a yeasted dough it can be really tricky to get that to work. Just make sure you use an all purpose gluten free flour.


  15. Hi Gemma! First off thank you for all of your fabulous recipes! I just have a quick question. I saw in an earlier post that you can replace the yogurt with your buttermilk recipe. My question is would we still use 3/4 of a cup or a different amount? Thank you so much for your time. I am very excited to try the Pretzel recipe! ????

    1. Hi Erika,
      Yes, but the rule when adding any liquid to flour is that you add sufficient to bring the dough together in a clean ball. It is not an exact thing as flour in different places behaves in different ways.
      Do try it, I hope you like it!
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Amazing! So much easier than I thought it would be and so yummy! I made 1 batch of crazy dough and split it between pretzels and cinnamon rolls, just to try it out. Both turned out great (my rolling for the cinnamon rolls needs work though!) My grandsons (2 & 5) are going to have a blast making pretzels!
    Instead of making pizza though I’m going to try making a stromboli and maybe panzarottis (sort of pizza turnovers, fried). I’ll let you know how it turns out! Thanks!

    1. Hi Christine,
      I am playing catch up here as we had big time tech issues! That is great, thank you for telling us, and do post a pic too. I would love to hear about the ‘Panzarottis’ I am not familiar with this, it sounds divine!
      Thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

    1. Hi Paula! Whole wheat flour has gluten, but it is not as available as in white flour, because of the way it is milled. Many of the yeast recipes can also be used with whole wheat flour, and there are strong whole wheat flours developed for this purpose.
      A blend of white and wholemeal will work well too and adding a little more yeast, and more sugar will also help with this flour. Take a look at this recipe ( this will give you the idea. You can also add seeds, milled flax and chia seeds etc to boost the nutrition. Do not try this with all wholewheat flour, it will not work so well,
      Gemma ????

    1. Hi Stacey,
      Hummm! I will have to think about this! The skin on a pretzel will not help the flavor to stick, unless you put the flavor into the dough. I suppose you could butter in melted butter, and dip in a sugar cinnamon mix, but I am not sure it will stay in place, I would have to try it,
      Gemma 🙂

        1. Hi there,
          When you substitute an ingredient in a recipe you need to ask yourself what the purpose of that ingredient is!
          In this case the egg is an enricher. You can leave it out, or you can add a flax egg. The bread will be a little different, but you will still get a great result,
          Gemma 🙂

  17. Hi Gemma ! I am a new user of your website, and i was wondering about this recipe , it calls for 6 teaspoons of baking soda in the written recipe. Is that the correct amount or its a mistake ? I only see you adding one teaspoon on baking soda in water . i feel 6 would be just too much .

    1. Hi there,
      This is for the boiling water, not to add to the recipe. I am not sure why you think it will be too much, it is designed to set the ‘skin’ on the pretzels.
      Is this what you mean?
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Thank you so much for the easy recipe !! i absolutely love your recipes , i have one regarding the crazy dough and pretzel instead of egg what can be used ? i am vegan and don’t use egg at all !!

    1. Hi Ritika,
      Flax egg is probably the best egg substitute for bread recipes, it has the richness, which is what the egg adds.
      Thank you for your kind words, and for baking with us, let me know how you get on,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Hey Gemma, I made these today following your recipe exactly. However, when it was done. It didn’t have the texture a pretzel has. It is still really good, but I was wondering what I did wrong

  20. Hello Gemma

    I love your website. Everything looks so delicious.
    Please tell me if I can substitute the milk with something else as my son is lactose intolerant.

    Thank you so much and keep baking.


  21. Hi! We made the pretzels today and they are awesome! Thinking toward the holidays, we were wondering if we could freeze the pretzels already shaped. If that would work, should we boil them and freeze them. Or just shape and freeze, boiling them after thawing. Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Hi Katrina,
      I am delighted you liked this recipe.
      I would boil and freeze. These will defrost really quickly and can almost be baked from the freezer. Run a test batch, try it both ways, either will work well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

    1. hi Gigi,
      Yes, but not here on BBB.
      The dough which works really well for bagels is the no knead pizza dough, which is a basic bread recipe. It is fermented, rather than kneaded, and this gives both taste, and texture to the bagels. Try it! Give it at least 12 hours in the fridge to ferment, remove to room temperature, form, proof and proceed as the pretzels recipe.
      Do let us know how this works for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Hi Gemma,
    Mabuhay (long live!) From the fans here from the Philippines.
    I just want to ask if we can make donut from this dough? My kids love donuts with a lot of different toppings ????
    Thank you very much!

  23. Hi Gemma, just made your Pretzels, there amazing and easy to make. After watching Pretzels being made on the Great British Bake off years ago I swore I would never make them as they looked so difficult but I was so wrong. The only problem I had was half the batch came out a little soggy on the bottom, while the other tray was golden brown on the bottom. Can you suggest where I went wrong? Thanks Gemma

    1. Hi Jules,
      Was this about where they were positioned in the oven? The heat distribution in ovens varies, according to the type. A fan assisted oven distributes the heat evenly throughout, not so with a conventional oven, or a gas oven. The trays need to be positioned in the center of the cavity.
      Does that make sense,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. pretzels! another winner with the crazy dough…recipe worked great and we loved them!

    Gemma, you would be the perfect candidate for the food network tv channel! 🙂

    1. Hi Lonnie,
      Really a cheese sauce is a bechamel sauce to which loads of cheese of your choice is added.
      My mum makes hers like this:
      1 pint of milk
      1 white onion, black pepper corns and fresh herbs such as little bay, or thyme, salt.
      1oz butter
      1oz plain, AP flour
      Bring the milk to the boil with the onion, peppercorns, salt and herbs. Do not boil it, turn it off and allow it cool.
      When the milk is cool melt the butter in a pan, and gently cook the flour for about one minute.
      Strain the milk, and whisk it into the ‘roux’ (that is the cooked flour) until a thick sauce is formed, then stop. Bring back to the boil to further cook out the flour. Add more milk if it needs it, then the cheese, whatever you like, but we would use a sharp cheddar, about 4 ozs, and a touch of french mustard.
      I hope you like this one, it is great over cauliflower too, and popped under the grill/broiler.
      Gemma 🙂

  25. To make the gluten free verson of pizza pretzels With crazy dough, I changed out the regular flour with 2 1/2 cups gluten free mix with 3/4 cups of tapioca flour/starch and added 3-4 tbsp of water. Hope this helps for those that cant have gluten. Gemma thank you so much for the crazy dough recipe, it helped me a lot! I havent had a nice soft and delicious gf pizza pretzel in years since having to go gluten free.

    1. Ayesha, thank you so much for this really useful information. Lots of people ask, and honestly this is not my specialty, so i am delighted to get the assistance of people who know. All such contributions are really appreciated by other Bold Bakers, keep it coming!
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Can i do pretzel nuggets? And if so how long would i bake them? Also we are snowed in and i don’t have any yogurt .. What can i use in place of it?

    1. hi Tina,

      Yes cut the pretzels to any length you want. Just bake them for way less time because they are small.

      Maybe just serve them with mustard if you don’t have yogurt. You could also try cream cheese.

      1. Hi Kim,
        That is a great Irish name you have!
        The dough I use here ( for pizza, is really a basic bread dough.
        Traditional pretzels would be made in this way. The dough would be kneaded, and you can do this, or not. It would be proofed, it would be shaped, in your case into rods, then it would be refrigerated for a slow rising, fermentation. This would work well overnight.
        Then you have your water/soda mix ready, and you boil these from the fridge, when still cold. This helps to set the crust, and keep the inside soft and moist. Then you proceed as per the recipe.
        Now I want you to try this, do let us know how it works for you.
        The crazy dough recipe gives a good result, but a different result, and I think you are looking for the authentic thing, the price is time!
        Gemma 😉

  27. I would like to grab about 2 inch balls of dough and drop fry them. What do you think? Any potential problems?

    1. Hi there,
      I think you could do this, the temperature should be about 180C, other than that I know my Mum has done this for the grandchildren, and it worked. Let us know how it went for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. The best dough ever!!!!! Love it, my hubby loved the cinnamon rolls, pretzels are next!!!!! Thanks so much!! So happy I stumbled unto your website, recommended it to all my friends and family!!!!

  29. Hello Ms Gamma,
    Thank you for your web site, I just discovered it. I love to cook (not to be mistaken to mean I’m a good cook) and have been trying your mug meals. Awesome, so I got bold and today made a treat for my beautiful wife. They were these pretzelish looking things that turned out to be rather tasty. You made me into a kitchen rock star thank you so much.
    Jay from Texas

    1. Hi there,
      Well, I am delighted to hear that we got you into the kitchen! Well done you. Onward and upward now, you will be a big hit with your family.
      You also made me smile, so winner alright!
      Gemma 🙂

      1. Hi Gemma…I love to cook & bake,My family is always asking me to cook this,bake that..They even bought me a crock pot for Christmas (hint,hint)..Anyway,I came upon your video on Facebook,your basic bread,cookie,& muffin recipes make it so simple for me to please the multi different taste buds I’m trying to please.. tomorrow is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday..funfetti is her favorite..& the microwave cake was a hit with me..I am anxious to start using your recipes..

  30. I really want to try this dough. I made the dough and refrigerated it. It is one hard lump now. What next? I also would like pretzel sticks not knots… how would I do that? Thanks so much for the help. This southern gal LOVES your beautiful Irish lilt!!!

    1. Hi Kristin,

      So take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temp for 2 hours. Then feel free to work with it. If you don’t want knots just roll it out into sticks and proceeded as directed.

      Doughs are always sluggish coming form a fridge, but don’t worry it is still alive and will work 🙂


  31. Hi Gemma

    I tried to make these nice pretzels but unfortunately it stuck on the pan although i was using a baking papers and it this this was due to the rest of the water (may be) as the dough was wet. I had to take the upper layer and through the rest of the pretzels. Do you know a solution for next time!? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Dalia,
      I think the paper was Grease Proof paper, not a silicone baking paper!
      Next time, oil/butter your baking tray, you can then stick the paper to this, and brush again with butter/oil.
      On a non stick pan a brush of oil/butter should do, without the paper,
      Gemma 🙂

  32. Hi Gemma, I liked the crazy dough so much that I did a quadruple batch and froze some for later use. When I defrost the batch, do I still need to let it proof? It proofed prior to freezing but i don’t know at what step I should start for the pretzel recipe for example. THANKS!

    1. Hi Salman,
      I tend to uose the top and bottom elements, convection mode, for baking. Pizza loves a really hot oven, so the fan oven is great for this, as it cooks a bit hotter and faster than convection. You can really use either, try both and decide which suits you best. Keep an eye on the bake about 1/2 way through the bake time. do not open the oven more than necessary and all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  33. Hi gemma
    i made the dough but when i was rolling it, it wouldn’t roll and it was very tough .Are there way to solve this problem

    1. Hi Salman,
      forgive me if I am repeating this response, the website was having a health check, and some comments seem to have disappeared.
      This sounds like it was under proofed. It is hard to wait for this, but it is essential. Three things change the texture of a dough, the liquids, the kneading/fermenting, and the proofing. Each of these things is important. Knead well, allow the dough to proof/rise well, and it will be relaxed for rolling, if it stiffens up, cover it, leave it to stand for a few mins and go back to it again. All will be well, it is difficult to get it wrong when you follow the steps,
      Gemma 🙂

  34. Hi Gemma, u have inspired me to make my own crazy dough which has turned out awesome. I played with my dough n made a cheesy bread like u did n also cinnamon rolls which turned out great. Nw next m going to try the pretzels. However i do i have question for u.. Since am a vegetarian and don’t eat eggs what do i brush the pretzels with once u take them out of the water? Could u suggest an alternative?

    1. Thank you for your support for this idea. I will need to bi-locate too! The logistics need to be worked out, but I am confident that we will manage something next year,
      Gemma 🙂

  35. Dear Gemma
    Love this dough,I made 8 cinnamon rolls ,2 naan breads and two pretzel’s from one batch of crazy dough.Thanks for inspiring me as I am always on the look out for a great recipe which l will definitely be keeping in my little go to recipe book.Can’t wait to see what other suggestions are up your sleeve. PS can’t share pics as we gobbled them pretty much straight away…..

    1. Hi Anji,
      You can refresh these in a hot oven, for a few minutes. All baked goods are best eaten fresh, on the day of baking. If oyu need to keep longer then freeze, and refresh,
      Gemma 🙂

  36. Just made these, and they turned out so well! Having them straight outta the oven with cream cheese spread ;D

  37. I want to bake some today! My oven is old and doesn’t make it to 450° … I’m lucky if it gets to 400°. Is it okay to just cook the pretzels longer and raise them up closer to the heating elements?

    1. Ah! Margie, I know, and it is not always easy to replace things, or easy to get used to a new one.
      I think you could try this. take it to the hottest setting, and to the top of the oven. it may be that one of the elements in the oven has died. If you can identify the hottest spot, use that, I think it will be good.
      Thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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