Pretzel Bagel Donuts - The Food Gays

We posted these insane Pretzel Bagel Doughnuts on Instagram a couple of days ago, and people seemed as enthused as we were. I ate three in one sitting (ugh! not even ashamed), and then told Jeremy he basically had to give the rest to the neighbors, or I couldn’t be responsible for what would happen next. These babies are insanely good. Like, lock your doors and be prepared to inhale-the-entire-batch kinda good.

Pretzel Bagel Donuts

We’ve gotta give credit where it’s due. I first came across the idea for these on IG a couple weeks back when we stumbled upon a creation from a restaurant in NYC called Flex Mussels. I took a screencap and sent it to Jeremy, along with the caption “WE GOTTA MAKE THESE ASAP!!!” to which he replied, “OH HELL YES.” Someone else on Insta also mentioned that Momofuku sells something similar, too.

You do need to use food-grade quality Lye for this recipe, which can be ordered easily through retailers like Amazon (we have this one.) A lot of people get weird about using lye in the kitchen, but so long as you’re careful with it, you should have no issues whatsoever.

So… without making you wait any longer than needed – here’s what you’ve all been waiting for!

You can just thank us later. Makes 1 dozen.

Pretzel Bagel Donuts

Pretzel Bagel Donuts


    For the dough
  • 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • Olive oil, to coat dough
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • For the lye solution
  • 2 tbsp food grade lye added to 1L of room temp water
  • For the topping
  • pinch of sea salt
  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • flax seeds
  • chives
  • For the filling
  • 250gr cream cheese
  • fresh herbs of your choice (we used basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano)


  1. In your electric mixer, add flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Combine at medium speed, and add warm water. Continue to mix until a dough ball forms - about 6 minutes or so.
  2. While the dough is mixing, heat extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, and add onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until they become translucent. Add salt to taste.
  3. Add garlic and butter, and cook a further 2-3 minutes. Set aside and let cool completely.
  4. Let the mixer run another 8 minutes or so, and check dough for elasticity. When you stretch the dough out between your hands, it should not tear, and it should have an elastic type quality to it.
  5. Cut dough ball into small pieces, and combine cooled onion mixture to the dough and mix until one dough ball reforms.
  6. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and coat dough with oil so as not to dry it out. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 F, and begin preparing lye solution; set aside.
  8. Punch dough down, releasing some of the gas. Cut into twelve equal pieces. We recommend using a kitchen scale to help make this process as accurate as possible.
  9. Once your dough has been divided, you can roll each piece of dough into little balls and flatten slightly with your hand to form a doughnut-like shape. Once all 12 are shaped, let rise - covered with a clean dish towel for 5-10 minutes.
  10. With a slotted wooden spoon,dDip each Bagel Doughnut in the lye for at least 15 seconds to make them into Pretzel Bagel Doughnuts! Be extremely careful when handling Lye - it can severely burn, if you aren't careful. Use latex gloves if possible.
  11. Once dipped, arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  12. Top with seed mixture, and let stand for 5 minutes before baking in the oven.
  13. Place pretzel bagel doughnuts in the oven for 18 minutes, or until a nice beautiful dark golden brown exterior is present.
  14. Let cool at least 10 minutes before filling. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and fresh herbs. Mix well, until cream cheese is soft and airy. Add cream cheese to a pastry bag.
  15. With a tip of a knife, poke a hole in the top of your bagel pretzel doughnuts, big enough to insert the tip of the pastry bag. Fill generously with herb cream cheese, and top with sliced chives.