Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (2024)

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Once you've tasted this soft sourdough pretzel recipe, you'll just have to go back for a second!

These easy sourdough pretzels will deliver soft, German style pretzels, perfect to share with friends and family alongside your favorite beverage.

Don't be intimidated by shaping these beauties - they really are much easier than they look! Plus I've included an easy step by step twisting tutorial!

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (1)

How To Make Soft Sourdough Pretzels

  1. Add sourdough starter, water, flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer and bring together to form a shaggy dough.
  2. Allow the dough to rest for around 15 minutes.
  3. Knead the dough (you'll need to use a dough hook for stand mixers) for around 10 minutes until it is smooth and supple.This is a stiff dough (much like sandwich bread dough) so it won't be super elastic, however it should be smooth and not sticky.
  4. Once the dough is sufficiently kneaded, you'll need to allow it to rise or ferment.You want the dough to double and be puffy and soft.
  5. Once the dough has risen, you'll need to shape the pretzels. It's quite simple, you just need a little patience.Divide the dough into 12 pieces weighing 80g each. Shape each piece of dough into a small ball and then roll out into a long, thin strip. Around 45cm is perfect.
  6. Twist each strip into a pretzel (see shaping notes below).
  7. Once they are puffy, place them into the freezer for around 30 minutes to set.
  8. While they are setting in the freezer, bring a pot of water with 60g of baking soda added to the boil and preheat your oven to 200C/392F.
  9. When the water is boiling, carefully place 3-4 pretzels into the boiling water at a time. You want to boil them for around 30 seconds each. They should float to the surface and that's when you know to take them out.
  10. Carefully remove the pretzels from the boiling water using a slotted spoon.Lay the pretzels onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  11. Using a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash mixture and then sprinkle with salt or seeds as desired.
  12. Bake the pretzels for around 20 - 25 minutes at 200C/392F. Remove them from the oven when they are golden brown.
  13. Allow them to cool before you enjoy them!
Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (2)

How To Shape Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Shaping soft sourdough pretzels might look complicated, but it's honestly easy once you break it down.

First, start by dividing your dough into 80g pieces (you'll get 12 from one batch of this recipe).

Then, you just need to roll each piece into a rope around 45cm long.

Then follow the diagram below:

  1. Pull the ends of the dough rope upwards, with the left end sitting under the right. It will look like a loose triangle.
  2. Now twist the end of the right rope under the left again.
  3. Pull the twist downwards so it sits at the base of the triangle and the ends hang down a little. You can tuck the tails under if you prefer a more rounded shape - but I quite like the little tails.

Simple!

Of course there are other ways you can shape them, this is just the easiest for a beginner.

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (3)

Why Do You Boil Soft Sourdough Pretzels Before Baking?

Boiling sourdough pretzels is essential to get the chewy crust, yet soft, squishy crumb inside.

Traditionally German pretzels are boiled in lye. To make this recipe accessible to the home sourdough baker, I have opted for baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) instead.

Baking soda helps to give the crust that distinct color and chew.

Boiling these soft sourdough pretzels gives them a puffiness, even before they hit the oven.

It means that when the pretzels are placed in the oven, the crust is "set" and as it bakes becomes chewy from the water still sitting on top.

The dough still expands inside the crust, making the pretzels soft inside.

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (4)

Is Pretzel Dough the Same As Bagel Dough?

Yes, sourdough pretzel dough is basically the same as sourdough bagel dough.

It is prepared in much the same way, given that the desired result is a chewy, golden crust.

Obviously soft sourdough pretzels are shaped and dressed a little differently, but they are inherently similar in texture.

Both have a chewy crust thanks to boiling in baking soda.

Why Are My Soft Pretzels So Dense?

A common question - you will find that your soft sourdough pretzels will be too dense if they are not proofed adequately or you've used flour that is too high in protein.

Before boiling, they should be lovely and puffy. They should look like little twisted pillows of dough.

If they aren't puffy before you boil them, they will come out quite dense when you bake them.

Soft pretzels are chewy, but they should still be light and airy inside, rather than dense.

The type of flour you use will also make a difference. All purpose or bread flour is a good choice for making pretzels. If your flour is higher than 13% however it may result in a denser crumb.

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (5)

Can You Use Sourdough Discard To Make Pretzels?

You can use sourdough discard in this recipe in place of sourdough starter, however you will need to add some commercial yeast.

Adding up to 7g of commercial yeast will allow you to use sourdough discard in this recipe. You can add less yeast - this will give you a longer rise and more flavor.

Add the commercial yeast (if using) at the same time you add the sourdough discard.

Want More Sourdough Recipes?

If you are loving this soft sourdough pretzel recipe, you might enjoy these too!

  • Easy Sourdough Bagels
  • Sourdough Hot Dog Rolls
  • Sourdough Pigs in Blankets
  • Baked Sourdough Donuts
Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (7)

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (8)

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe

These easy sourdough pretzels are soft and simple to make. They can be topped with salt or sesame seeds and are perfect for sharing with friends.

4.53 from 74 votes

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Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Fermentation Time 12 hours hrs

Total Time 13 hours hrs

Course Bread, Breakfast

Cuisine American

Servings 12 pretzels

Calories 178 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer recommended

  • Baking Trays

  • Stock Pot for boiling pretzels

  • Slotted Spoon

Ingredients

  • 100 g Sourdough Starter fed and bubbly or discard (see notes)
  • 500 g Bread Flour
  • 260 g Water Warm
  • 30 g Sugar
  • 10 g Salt
  • 1 Egg plus 20g of water for egg wash

For Boiling

  • 2 Litres Water
  • 60 g Bicarbonate of Soda Baking Soda

Instructions

  • I recommend using a stand mixer for this recipe as it is a stiff dough and can easily be kneaded in a stand mixer.

    Add sourdough starter, water, flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer and bring together to form a shaggy dough.

  • Allow the dough to rest for around 15 minutes.

  • Knead the dough (you'll need to use a dough hook for stand mixers) for around 10 minutes until it is smooth and supple.

    This is a stiff dough (much like sandwich bread dough) so it won't be super elastic, however it should be smooth and not sticky.

  • Once the dough is sufficiently kneaded, you'll need to allow it to rise or ferment.

    You want the dough to double and be puffy and soft.

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (9)

  • Once the dough has risen, you'll need to shape the pretzels. It's quite simple, you just need a little patience.

    Divide the dough into 12 pieces weighing 80g each. Shape each piece of dough into a small ball and then roll out into a long, thin strip. Around 45cm is perfect.

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (10)

  • Twist each strip into a pretzel (see shaping notes above).

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (11)

  • Cover the pretzels with a dish cloth and allow them become lovely and puffy.

  • Once they are puffy, place them into the freezer for around 30 minutes to set.

  • While they are setting in the freezer, bring a pot of water with 60g of baking soda added to the boil and preheat your oven to 200C/392F.

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (12)

  • When the water is boiling, carefully place 3-4 pretzels into the boiling water at a time. You want to boil them for around 30 seconds each. They should float to the surface and that's when you know to take them out.

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (13)

  • Carefully remove the pretzels from the boiling water using a slotted spoon.

    Lay the pretzels onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (14)

  • Using a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash mixture and then sprinkle with salt or seeds as desired.

    Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (15)

  • Bake the pretzels for around 20 - 25 minutes at 200C/392F. Remove them from the oven when they are golden brown.

  • Allow them to cool before you enjoy them!

Notes

Topping Ideas: Pretzels can be topped with a range of different things including - sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flakey sea salt, everything bagel seasoning, parmesan cheese, shredded tasty cheese, cinnamon sugar just to name a few!

Kneading: ideally this recipe should be done in a stand mixer because it is a stiff dough - but you can knead it by hand if you wish.

Using Sourdough Discard - if you are using sourdough discard, you'll need to add up to 7g of yeast. This will mean that the dough will rise much faster than using sourdough starter alone. You will not need to leave them as long to rise in this case.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 5gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 325mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg

Keyword Sourdough Discard, Sourdough Rolls

Tried this recipe?Share your creation with us @ThePantryMama or tag #thepantrymama!

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (16)
Soft Sourdough Pretzel Recipe [simple + delicious] (2024)

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