Pretzel Cinnamon Buns Are The Pastry You Never Knew You Needed

Food hybrids have been all the rage for the last few years, ever since Dominique Ansel introduced the world to the cronut. Since its debut, many other pastry chefs have been aching to top the cronut’s success with a hybrid of their own. A natural byproduct of that desire is pretzel cinnamon rolls. Though not quite as innovative as some of its more Instagrammable brethren, the pretzel cinnamon roll is in a league of its own.

With a crisp, caramelized exterior, the familiar savory notes of a pretzel come through, even as the roll opens up into a meltingly soft inner roll speckled with delicious cinnamon. To bring the crossover home, the rolls are topped with large-grained salt, which adds an extra layer of crunch, in addition to perfectly contrasting the sweet and gooey filling. This recipe comes from Izy Hossack, who runs the blog Topped with Cinnamon.

  1. Basic Bread Dough:
    • 450 grams (1 pound /3.5 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus more for kneading (or use half plain and half wholemeal/whole-wheat flour)
    • 7 grams (0.5 oz) dried yeast
    • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar (use 4 tablespoons for a sweet recipe)
    • 1.5 teaspoons salt
    • 1 egg
    • [Makes enough for one large loaf or 12 rolls]
  2. Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls:
    1. 1 quantity of Basic Bread Dough (made using 4 tablespoons sugar)
    2. 100 grams (3.5 oz / 0.5 cups) dark brown sugar
    3. 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    4. 75 grams (2.5 ounces / 1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
    5. 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
    6. Kosher salt, for sprinkling


  1. Basic Bread Dough: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, honey or sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center of the ingredients, crack in the egg, and pour in 250 milliliters (8.5 ounces/1 cup) lukewarm water. Stir with your hands, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed, until you have a smooth, slightly sticky ball of dough.
  2. Oil the bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour, or until it doubles in size.
  3. Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls: Grease a large, deep ovenproof dish with sunflower oil. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, 50 x 32 centimeters (20 x 12.5 inches).
  4. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Spread the butter over the surface of the dough and top with the cinnamon-sugar. Starting with a short edge, roll the dough into a 32-centimeter (12.5-inch) log, then cut the log into 12 even pieces and arrange each piece in the greased dish. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F / Gas 4).
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the bicarbonate of soda and 3 tablespoons of hot water. Remove the plastic wrap from the rolls and use a pastry brush to cover the rolls with the bicarbonate of soda mixture, then immediately sprinkle with salt. Bake for 35-45 minutes until dark brown and well risen.