Exclusive Clip: Great American Baking Show Contestants Struggle To Master The Perfect Pretzel

"The Great American Baking Show" wasn't an immediate hit when it first aired on ABC in 2015. It's a spinoff of the wildly popular "The Great British Baking Show" (or "The Great British Bake-Off," as it's called in the U.K.), and both have been criticized for the sometimes outlandish nature of their challenges. But when the Roku Channel reintroduced the GABS in 2023, it breathed new life into this adaptation, giving fans more of the classic bakes they'd been missing. Judging by a clip of the Season 2 contestants trying to make pretzels, we can expect more of that lovable approachability in the upcoming season.

In this clip, shared exclusively with Mashed, bakers try their hand at tackling the notoriously tricky baked pretzel — and their utter confusion is nothing if not relatable. Twisting pretzels into their signature shape is typically done with a swift flick of the wrist that transforms the ribbon of dough from a U-shape to that of a pretzel in the blink of an eye. Based on the bakers' faces, it seems this is a move that requires a little practice to master. After several clumsy attempts from a handful of contestants, one finally manages to make something pretzel-esque — that's better than the GBBO judge Paul Hollywood fared when he tried making pretzels in Munich during an episode of "Paul Hollywood's City Bakes" (as seen on YouTube).

Pretzel-making is tough no matter where you're from

Prue Leith – who isn't just a GBBO and GABS judge but also a Michelin-starred chef – was asked about the differences between the American and U.K. contestants during an appearance on "Good Morning America" (also viewable on YouTube). "The bakers in America like more sugar," Leith answered in her typical cheeky fashion, adding, "from a talent and a skill point of view, they're pretty alike." While they may be talented, whether the bakers managed to mustard — oops, we mean muster — up something suitable in the end remains to be seen.

Soft pretzels (which have become somewhat of a signature for Paul Hollyood since the Munich incident) also appeared as a technical challenge on the Season 4 finale of the British iteration of the show. Although Hollywood made a joke about how the American bakers are "far, far worse" during that "Good Morning America" appearance, it seemed British bakers found the task of pretzel-twisting to be just as daunting. If you've ever considered signing up to be on the show, you might want to try your hand at a homemade pretzel recipe first.