Sourdough Pretzels

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Yield: 12 pretzels

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There's nothing better than soft, chewy, warm pretzels from a street vendor — except possibly making them yourself, using this easy recipe. You can make these pretzels on a moment's notice, too: the recipe calls for sourdough starter straight from the refrigerator, no need to feed it first.

New to sourdough? Find the help you need for all of your sourdough baking at our Sourdough Essentials page.

Sourdough Pretzels

star rating (58) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 pretzels
Published: 04/01/2011





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1) Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.

2) Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 ounces.

4) Roll each piece of dough into an 18" rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.

5) Dissolve the malt in the water. Brush the pretzels with the solution, and sprinkle lightly with coarse pretzel salt.

6) Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. Note: This is correct; there's no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.

7) Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.

Yield: 12 pretzels.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 (80g) Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190 Calories from Fat: 30 Total Fat: 3.5g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 770mg Total Carbohydrate: 34g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 4g Protein: 7g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/24/2015
  • Chantel from Seaside, CA
  • I used just sourdough starter and omitted the yeast. I mixed 2 cups of the flour, sourdough starter and all the water then let it sit for an hour before putting it in the fridge for two days. I pulled it out, added the other ingredients and kneaded then left it for about 2 hours. I also boiled them in water and baking soda first. They came out great. They were very close to Auntie Annie's but not as sweet. Maybe if I had used the malt powder or brown sugar it would have been closer. My three year old ate two in a row they were so good.
  • star rating 03/01/2015
  • Jenny from Dallas,TX
  • The first time I made these they were ok but not what my friends said they were. I switched things up this time. I read the comments and boiled the pretzels in roughly 10-12 cups of water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. I also cooked them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes instead. Well that did it for me!! They were perfect!!
  • star rating 02/10/2015
  • mpstonge from KAF Community
  • This was so much fun to bake with my kids! I read the blog and comments and decided to conduct my own experiment. I boiled half of the pretzels for 10-15 seconds in water with a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in it and the other half were just sprinkled with soda water. The ones that were boiled came out so much better (kids agreed)! The color was better and the texture was better.
  • star rating 08/30/2014
  • bkramer947 from KAF Community
  • Very good - easy to make. Great way to use the excess starter. My 13 year old and I made them together and it was easy and fun. I think the salt and melted butter are important to this finished recipe. A little melted butter goes a long way - maybe one Tbs for the whole batch of 12 pretzels. We sprinkled with coarse kosher salt as well. I will make these again. Would be good dunked in mustard!
  • star rating 07/23/2014
  • Kathy from Springtown, TX
  • This is a great dough recipe and pretty much full proof. I do not brush on the diastatic malt mixture instead I use a traditional baking soda bath. One third cup of baking soda into a stockpot of water and bring to a boil. Let the pretzels boil for 10 - 15 seconds each side then bake as directed. They come out chewy with a rich brown color.
  • star rating 07/12/2014
  • from
  • This recipe is fantastic! My 11yr. old daughter has mastered it by making easier variations like "pretzel balls" (a huge hit a parties) and recently creating 5 large sourdough sandwich rolls instead of pretzels. The sandwich rolls were incredible! This recipe motivates me to keep feeding our sourdough starter even though we aren't making many "fed" recipes! :-)
  • star rating 05/21/2014
  • Aqswr from KAF Community
  • Fantastic recipe! Easy to follow and delicious. My family ate the pretzels almost before they were completely cooled. I love all the recipes for sourdough starter.
  • star rating 05/19/2014
  • Paul from Utica, ny
  • Delicious. It was my first time making these but they turned out great. Really delicious. They puffed up a bit too much and so the shape didn't look quite right. I think I have to thin out and lengthen the snakes before shaping them
  • star rating 04/15/2014
  • LArcher from London, Ontario
  • Oh my stars these are fabulous! Made these exactly as the recipe states and also some with an egg wash. Both browned nicely and tasted amazing! My kids are in for a real treat after school today!
  • star rating 04/07/2014
  • Kathy H. from Farmington, MN
  • I make these almost every week. I tried with both the nondiastatic malt powder (in the dough, and in the boiling bath), and without. Also did straight bake, and boiling bath. I like without the malt powder in the mix, a soda bath, and a sugar-water brush. Pretty colors, amazing taste. Especially brushed with butter after baking.
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