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Soft Sourdough Pretzels Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Fermentation Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 39 minutes
Servings: 16
Author: Amy Duska


Ingredients to make ½ cup (100 g)  of Active Sourdough Starter

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) sourdough starter
  • cup + 1 tablespoon (50 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (50 g) water

Sourdough Pretzel Dough

  • ½ cup (100 g) active sourdough starter
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (255 g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (40 g) honey or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) fine sea salt
  • 4 cups + 2 tablespoons (500 g) bread flour

Water Bath

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

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg lightly beaten in a small bowl
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt


Feed Your Sourdough Starter

  • 12 hours before you plan to mix the dough, add the ingredients to make ½ cup (100 g) of active sourdough starter to a clean jar. Stir until combined, loosely cover the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature. (The ingredients will create a total of 115 g active starter but, because some of it will stick to the sides of the jar during the transfer, we are making a little more than needed.) The sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and there are plenty of bubbles on the surface and sides of the jar.

Make the Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the active sourdough starter, water, honey and salt with a spatula. Add the bread flour and use your hands to bring the ingredients together as best as possible. The dough will be very stiff. Place the dough hook on the mixer and mix the dough on the lowest speed for 6-7 minutes. (Or knead by hand for 10 minutes.) Cover the bowl and let rest at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide into 16 equal pieces.
  • Working one piece at a time, roll the dough into a long rope shape and set it on a clean surface in the shape of a "U". Lift the ends of the rope and twist 2 times. Fold the twist over and press the ends on the dough. Cover the dough with a towel and let rise for 30-60 minutes or until puffy.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) making sure that the oven rack in the center position. Boil the water in a large stockpot and add 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar.
  • Boil the pretzels, 3-4 at a time, on both sides for 30 seconds each, making sure not to crowd the pot. Use a mesh stainer to remove the pretzels and place back on the parchment paper. Brush each pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake the pretzels at 425°F (218°C) for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.



  • All-purpose flour can be used for this recipe with modifications. Reduce the amount of water by 25 grams in the initial mix. This is because all-purpose flour absorbs less water than bread flour. If the dough feels too stiff after it's rested for the first hour, work in the reserved 25 grams of water, 5 grams at a time, until it feels right. If you end up adding too much water, work a light dusting of flour it into the dough until it comes together.
  • Use the scoop and level technique to measure your flour if you do not have a kitchen scale. To do this, use a spoon to fluff up the flour in the bag. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into a measuring cup until it is heaped on top. Take a butterknife and level off the top. This should give you the most accurate measurement for flour.
  • Store cooked pretzels, covered, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Storing in the fridge is not recommended.
  • To freeze baked pretzels, let cool completely. Wrap pretzels individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw before reheating.
  • To reheat pretzels, bake in oven at 400°F for 5 minutes or until heated through. A microwave is not recommended.