Sourdough Pretzels

sourdough pretzels

The Spruce / Morgan Baker

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Rest: 13 hrs
Total: 14 hrs
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 pretzels
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
267 Calories
2g Fat
54g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 5110mg 222%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 98mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These aren’t your typical mall pretzels. They may appear complicated, but they are worth every bit of time and effort. The overnight cold rest in the refrigerator helps build flavor that you can absolutely taste in the final product. If you’re intimidated by the twisting, you can split the dough into 16 equal portions instead of eight and roll the dough into balls, creating pretzel bites instead.

Serving these savory with honey mustard, ranch or blue cheese dressing, or creamy beer cheese. They are perfect for tailgating, lunch boxes and afternoon snacks.

Ingredients

  • 205 grams active sourdough starter

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, divided

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup baking soda

  • 1 large egg white, whisked

  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    sourdough pretzels ingredients

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  2. Add the starter and 1 1/4 cups of the warm water to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

    starter and water in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the all-purpose flour, bread flour, and sugar and mix until well incorporated. Cover and let the mixture rest for 60 minutes in a warm place, like the oven with the light on.

    pretzel dough in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  4. Switch to the dough hook and add the salt and remaining 1/4 cup water. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more all-purpose flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky.

    dough with dough hook

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  5. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.

    Dough in a bowl covered with a towel

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  6. Uncover the bowl and lift one side of the dough and fold it into the center of itself. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough and cover again. Repeat this step three more times, after allowing the dough to rest 40 minutes each time.

    pretzel dough being folded in a bowl

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  7. Cover the bowl again and allow to rest a final time at room temperature for 60 minutes. The dough should be lively, smooth, and airy. If it appears sluggish and feels cold to the touch, allow the dough to continue resting in a warm place for another 60 minutes. Cover tightly and refrigerate the dough overnight.

    Dough risen in a bowl

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and line two baking sheets with parchment paper then grease liberally with cooking spray.

    Dough covered in plastic wrap next to baking sheets

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  9. Turn the cold dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly dust with flour.

    Dough dusted with flour on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  10. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.

    Dough cut into eight pieces

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  11. Shape each piece into a rope and roll the dough back and forth moving your hands in opposite directions from the middle of the rope towards either end, creating smaller, more pointed ends until the rope is about 20 inches long.

    Dough rolled into a rope on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  12. To form a pretzel, lift the dough rope on either end forming a "U" shape. Twist the ends of the rope together twice and fold the twist over and rest on the center of the "U". Lift the pretzel by the two top loops and place on the prepared sheet tray. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Dough shaped into a U

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  13. Cover the tray with oiled plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes to bring the dough to room temperature.

    Pretzels on a baking sheet covered in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  14. Combine 2 quarts of water and baking soda in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

    Water boiling with baking soda

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  15. Drop the pretzels, one at a time, into the boiling water for about 10 seconds, then flip and boil another 10 seconds. Remove the pretzels back onto the baking sheet.

    Pretzel boiling in baking soda and water

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  16. Brush each pretzel with egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt.

    Boiled pretzels on a baking sheet painted with egg white and sprinkled with salt

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  17. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn the sheets halfway through baking so they brown evenly.

    sourdough pretzels on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

Go sweet...

Forget finishing with salt and go the sweet route by sprinkling with cinnamon sugar instead and serving with vanilla glaze, cream cheese frosting, jam or chocolate sauce.