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Sourdough Pretzels

Homemade sourdough pretzels are easy to make...soft and chewy with just a hint of sourdough tang. It's a great way to use unfed sourdough starter!
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: General
Keyword: Bread, Pretzels, Sourdough, Sourdough Starter, Yeast Bread
Servings: 12 pretzels
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment



  • 1 cup unfed sourdough starter (8 oz, 227g)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (12-3/4 oz, 361g)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk, see Recipe Notes
  • 3/4 cup water (6 oz, 170g)), lukewarm (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated or brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled, or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp  instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Water Bath

  • 1/4 cup baking soda (2 oz, 55g)
  • 9 cups water


  • pretzel salt, or coarse Kosher salt (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter, optional
  • prepared mustard, brown or yellow, for dipping (optional)


For the dough

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (or a bread machine on the Manual setting), mix and knead the dough ingredients to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky (add in an additional tablespoon or two of water if it seems dry).
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes (it won't rise much). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • 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 oz (65-70g).
  • Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel (see the pictures in the post for examples).

For the water bath

  • Dissolve the baking soda in the water and bring to a boil. Boil the pretzels in the baking soda bath for 20-30 seconds per side, drain them on a paper towel, and put them on a half sheet baking pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Sprinkle them with salt before baking, if desired.
  • Bake the pretzels for 12-15 minute, until they're a light golden brown. Note: This is correct; there's no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.
  • Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter (optional, but who am I trying to kid…of course I brushed the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter!).
  • Serve with brown or yellow mustard for dipping (if desired) and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Instead of nonfat dry milk (which I don't keep on hand), I substituted 3/4 cup (6 oz, 170g) of fresh milk, scalded and cooled, and omitted the water.
Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Pretzels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150
* Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal per day diet.
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