Sourdough Pretzels

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sourdough pretzels are all the best things about warm, salted, oven-fresh pretzels with a sourdough tang. You’ll LOVE these easy-to-make soft sourdough pretzels.

I’ve started this silly thing where if I want my kids to do an unscheduled chore, I tell them I’ve got a small job. We all know it’s not a small job, but ignore the reality to keep the peace!

I had been cooking all day, and no lie, my poor kids (note: not that poor) had already emptied the dishwasher twice when I told them I had a small job, and it rhymed with mish rawsher. Cue the pre-teen eye-rolling and groaning.

Then they caught sight and smell of my beautiful sourdough pretzels and I told them that we could all sit together and enjoy a pretzel when the dishwasher was done, and wooo, look out! Dishes were flyin!

This sourdough pretzels recipe is dedicated to small jobs.

Overhead view of freshly baked sourdough pretzels on a baking sheet.
Jump to:

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> New to sourdough and need a homemade sourdough starter stat? Check out my super quick 24-hour sourdough starter!

No. 2 –> This is a sticky dough. Don’t panic. It’s normal – this is what makes a soft pretzel! When kneading with a mixer, you only want to add flour until it starts to pull away from the bowl in a cohesive ball with no dried flour bits. The dough will likely stick to the bottom of the bowl. That’s totally fine.

No. 3 –> This is a “quick” sourdough pretzel recipe as we are using discard and also instant yeast. It doesn’t have the same amount of tang as an overnight fermented pretzel, but they’re damn delicious either way!

Stack of sourdough pretzels.

Key Ingredients

Sourdough discard: Use an aged sourdough starter for better tang! I have one in the back of my fridge that’s like 3 weeks old with a quarter-inch layer of hooch on top. Stir that hooch back in and use that tangy delicious discard. If your discard is fresher, it will have a more faint sourdough flavor.

Flour: Use a high protein flour in this recipe, something like unbleached bread flour or a flour with 13+% protein. Calculate protein content as follows:

Grams of Protein / Grams per Serving = _________ X 100 = ______%.
ex: 4g protein /30g per serving =.1333 x 100= 13.3% protein

Yeast: Because sometimes you just want instant gratification when it comes to sourdough goodies, this recipe is written with instant yeast included. You’ll be eating hot, oven fresh pretzels in under 3 hours, thanks to yeast!

Ingredients for sourdough pretzels.

How To Make Sourdough Pretzels

MAKE THE DOUGH:

  1. Combine warm water, instant yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the mixture to sit for 3-4 minutes, or until the top is foamy and smells yeasty.
  2. Stir in the olive oil, salt, and sourdough discard by hand. Install the dough hook.
  3. Add flour, starting with 4 1/4 cups, and knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes. If the dough is too wet, and refusing to pull away from the sides, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it forms a sticky ball. The ball will stick to the bottom of the bowl, this is ok!
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or do like me and use a shower cap!) and set it aside to rise for 45 – 60 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

MAKE THE PRETZELS:

  1. Once doubled, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough to gently deflate. Cut the dough into 14-16 pieces. I cut the dough ball in half, then quarters, eighths, and finally sixteenths. That was the easiest way I found to portion somewhat evenly.
  2. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 20-22 inches. Avoid over-flouring the working surface, if the dough is too floured it will not roll well. The dough sticking to the surface helps roll it consistently. Add flour to your hands as required.
  3. Fold the rope into a pretzel shape. Place on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Place the prepared pretzels into the freezer to chill for 15- 20 minutes while oven preheats.

BOIL + BAKE THE PRETZELS:

  1. While the pretzels are resting in the freezer, preheat oven to 425f and prepare the baking soda bath by bringing water, brown sugar, and baking soda to a strong simmer.
  2. Prepare the egg wash by beating an egg vigorously in a small bowl, set it aside.
  3. Once the oven has reached temperature, remove the pretzels from the freezer and dip each into the simmering baking soda bath for 30-45 seconds. Remove the pretzels from the water bath with a spider spoon, shake the excess water off, and return them to the baking sheet. (I borrowed some of these photos from my sourdough bagel recipe as the method is the same)
  4. Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.
  5. Bake at 425f for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool on a wire mesh rack before enjoying your sourdough soft pretzels!

Batch + Storage Information

Batch:

This sourdough discard pretzel recipe makes around 16 good sized pretzels. It can be doubled or halved depending on your desired outcome.

Storage:

Wrap each pretzel individually in plastic wrap then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. I use my cookie jar! They will keep for up to 3 days. For best enjoyment, refresh your sourdough pretzel in the toaster before devouring!

These pretzels can also be frozen. Wrap each once individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Allow your frozen pretzels to thaw at room temperature and reheat in the toaster, if desired.

Overhead view of salted sourdough discard pretzels.

Variations + Substitutions

  • Sweet pretzels: sprinkle the pretzels generously with cinnamon sugar instead of kosher salt after the egg wash
  • Everything pretzels: Sprinkle the pretzels with everything bagel seasoning instead of kosher salt
  • Plain pretzels: don’t add any herbs or spices after the egg wash
  • Pretzel bites: Instead of wrapping the rolled dough, boil the dough in the baking soda wash before chopping into bite-sized bits. Reduce baking time to approximately 15 minutes.

More Sourdough Discard Recipes To Try

Stand mixer:  I use my KITCHENAID MIXER for so many things. It makes everything much easier – I couldn’t live without it for my baking! This dough is quite wet and sticky and it’s much easier to knead by machine than by hand.

If you love this recipe, please give it a star rating or leave a comment below! This helps me to create more content you enjoy!

📖 Printable Recipe

Overhead view of freshly baked sourdough pretzels on a baking sheet.

Sourdough Pretzels

Allyson Letal
This soft pretzel recipe is spiked with sourdough discard before being boiled in a baking soda bath and egg-washed for that traditional chewy pretzel goodness. You'll love this sourdough discard recipe!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Sourdough
Cuisine American
Servings 16 pretzels
Calories 181 kcal

Ingredients
  

pretzel dough:

  • 3/4 cup warm water ~90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup sourdough discard
  • 4 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups bread flour *See NOTE

baking soda bath:

  • 9 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

eggwash:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • coarse kosher salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine 3/4 cup warm water, 2 teaspoons instant yeast, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow mixture to sit for 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon fine salt, and 1 cup sourdough discard by hand, then install the dough hook on your mixer.
  • Add flour, starting with 4 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups bread flour, and knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes. If the dough is too wet, and refusing to pull away from the sides, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it forms a sticky ball.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside to rise for 45 – 60 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Once doubled, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough to gently deflate. Cut the dough into 12-14 pieces. Keep the pieces of dough you're not working with covered with a kitchen towel until ready for use.
  • Roll each piece into a long rope, about 20-22 inches. Fold the rope into a pretzel shape. Place on lined baking sheet.
  • Place the prepared pretzels into the freezer to chill for 15- 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425f and prepare the baking soda bath by bringing 9 cups water, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons baking soda to a strong simmer.
  • Prepare the egg wash by vigorously beating an 1 egg in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
  • Once the oven has reached the temperature, remove the pretzels from the freezer and dip each into the simmering baking soda bath for 30-45 seconds. Remove the pretzels from the water bath with a spider spoon, shake the excess water off, and return them to the baking sheet.
  • Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt to taste.
  • Bake at 425f for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire mesh rack before enjoying your sourdough soft pretzels!

Notes

** FLOUR: measure your flour via the scoop and level method. Stir the flour in your container or bag, then gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup before leveling the measuring cup with the back of a butter knife. Avoid packing in the flour!

Batch:

This sourdough discard pretzel recipe makes around 16 good-sized pretzels. It can be doubled or halved depending on your desired outcome.

Storage:

Wrap each pretzel individually in plastic wrap then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for up to 3 days. For best enjoyment, refresh your sourdough pretzel in the toaster before devouring!
These pretzels can also be frozen. Wrap each once individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Allow your frozen pretzels to thaw at room temperature and reheat in the toaster if desired.

variations + substitutions

  • Sweet pretzels: sprinkle the pretzels generously with cinnamon sugar instead of kosher salt after the egg wash
  • Everything pretzels: Sprinkle the pretzels with everything bagel seasoning instead of kosher salt
  • Plain pretzels: don't add any herbs or spices after the egg wash
  • Pretzel bites: Instead of wrapping the rolled dough, boil the dough in the baking soda wash before chopping into bite-sized bits. Reduce baking time to approximately 15 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pretzelCalories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 6gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 568mgPotassium: 58mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 16IUVitamin C: 0.004mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pin This Sourdough Pretzel Recipe!

Sourdough discard pretzels recipe pinterest graphic.

Similar Posts

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

9 Comments

    1. Ack! You’re right! It should be added to the water mixture, that said if you added it in the second step no harm would be done. I will fix the recipe card right now!

  1. I’ve tried this recipe twice… (even used a scale to do 120g of flour instead of a measuring cup full of flour so as to be more accurate) and both times there is no possible way to add this much flour to so little water. Ive had to add more water both times and can’t get all the flour combined. Something is off. They did turn out good at the end. But these measurements of flour and water need fixed.

    1. Hey Brittney!

      I got your comment and one 2 days before saying that the recipe was perfect, so I revisited my old stash of recipe cards (which I keep just in case I do make a mistake transcribing quantities) and double-checked. That one also said 3/4 cup! Since both matched, I decided to test the recipe. Here’s what I came up with:

      – I always scoop and measure my flour, so I stir it in the container, use a spoon to scoop it into my measuring cup, and then level it with the back of a knife.
      – I was able to easily knead 4 cups of dough into my 3/4 cup water and 1 cup discard.
      – My discard was cold, straight from the fridge – had it been room temperature, I know I would have gotten that last 1/4 – 1/2 cup in.
      – I use a liquid measuring cup, not a solids measuring cup for my water.
      – the dough is pretty dense, which is fine because it needs to hold its own against rolling, freezing, boiling, and baking lol
      – recipes that use cups and teaspoons as measurements are always less accurate than weights, and sometimes they need a little tweaking.
      – I use all purpose flour – sometimes flour in Canada has a higher protein content than other all purpose flours which may account for the water absorption?

      I don’t know if any of those would make a difference in your kitchen, but they were just thoughts I had while making the recipe today. Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    These were so easy and so delicious! I’m always looking for a good discard recipe. I did half with salt and half with everything seasoning. Both were great!

    I did want to comment that I had to add a little more water to the dough recipe 1 tablespoon at a time. I think my flour measurements were too packed.

    I also sprayed the parchment paper with oil before putting them on it after the boil. My sourdough always sticks to the parchment paper 🙄.

  3. Hi, can i avoid the dry yeast in this recipe by adding fed starter and a longer ferment time? We’re trying to avoid dry yeast as my husband is sensitive to it. Is there a conversion for this and other recipes where you use dry yeast? Thanks