Sourdough Pretzels

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.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
25 to 30 mins
Total
2 hrs 35 mins
Yield
12 pretzels
Sourdough Pretzels

Instructions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper. If you're not using King Arthur Flour's brand, grease the parchment with vegetable oil spray to make double-sure the pretzels won't stick.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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

  7. 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.

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

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter – it’ll be ready for baking about 24 hours after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.