Soft Sourdough Pretzels

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How to make soft sourdough pretzels.

Soft sourdough pretzels

Soft sourdough pretzels are a delicious salty snack and fun to make.  These are just like the ones you get at the mall, but with a sourdough twist. You get the classic shiny crust, soft and chewy center, and great flavor.

Soft sourdough pretzels

What you need to make Soft Sourdough Pretzels:

Milk – You want to warm the milk slightly.  I microwave the milk for 30 seconds in a glass measuring cup.  For this recipe, I use whole milk.

Granulated Sugar – Dissolve the sugar into the warm milk.  This will help jumpstart the yeast.

Active Dry Yeast – To help the dough rise quickly, I add active dry yeast.  Proof the yeast in the warm milk with the granulated sugar for best results.

Sourdough discard – This recipe is a great way to use your discard.  The pretzels end up with a subtle sourdough tang that is really good with the salty crunch.

Butter – For this recipe I use unsalted, room temperature butter

All Purpose Flour – AP flour is perfect here.

Salt – This recipe uses two kinds of salt, Morton’s Kosher salt in the dough and pretzel salt for topping.

Baking Soda Solution (Baking soda + water) – To help achieve the deep golden color, the pretzels are dipped into a baking soda solution just before baking.  The baking soda raises the pH of the water, which helps give the dough it’s deep color and smooth texture.

How to make Soft Sourdough Pretzels:

To begin, warm the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir in the granulated sugar and active dry yeast.  Set it aside for five minutes to allow the yeast to proof.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, add the sourdough discard, butter, AP flour, and salt.  Once you start to see bubbles on the surface of the yeast mixture and it begins to smells bread-like, pour it into the bowl.

Soft sourdough pretzels dough mixing

Turn the mixer on low for 6 minutes.  It will go from a shaggy to soft and smooth dough.  Transfer the ball into a greased bowl, cover, and set in a warm spot until it has doubled in size (1-2 hours).

Soft sourdough pretzels dough proofing

Divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces, each about 93 grams.  To shape the pretzels, roll out into a 24” long rope.

Soft sourdough pretzels dough shaping rope step 1

Pull the ends down to form an arc.

Soft sourdough pretzels dough shaping arc step two

Twist the ends around each other, lift up and press onto the sides of the arc.

Soft sourdough pretzels dough shaping steps three four five twist

Transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray and repeat with the other pieces of dough. Once the pretzels are on the tray, you can rearrange the dough to get the right shape.  I fit six pretzels on each tray.   Place the trays in a warm spot and allow the dough to puff up and rise slightly.

Soft sourdough pretzels sheet tray proofing

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.  Meanwhile, bring one quart of water to a boil.  Stir in a tablespoon of baking soda and simmer for several minutes.  Pour this mixture into a 9 x 13” baking sheet.

Soft sourdough pretzels baking soda dip

Dip the pretzels into the water for 30 seconds.  A fish spatula is the prefect tool to use for this task.  Place each one back onto the baking sheet and sprinkle over a little pretzel salt.  The salt sticks best while the dough is still wet, so be sure to do this quickly!  You may need to gently reshape the pretzels after this step.

Soft sourdough pretzels salt baking

Bake both trays at 450º F for 20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through the bake.

Soft sourdough pretzels baked sheet tray

As soon as the pretzels come out of the oven, brush the tops with a little butter.  This adds a nice shine and great flavor.

Soft sourdough pretzels baked sheet tray

These pretzels are best right out of the oven or rewarmed.  Pair with your favorite mustard or queso for a delicious savory snack or spread on a little Nutella for a sweet treat!  Enjoy!

Soft sourdough pretzels mustard savory snack

Soft sourdough pretzels recipe

Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Soft and chewy pretzels.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Proofing time: 3 hours
Makes: 12 Pretzels
Author: Corey Grimsley

Ingredients

Pretzel Dough

  • 152 grams milk warmed to about 110ºF
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 454 grams sourdough discard
  • 28 grams butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 450 grams AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Pretzel Water Bath

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tbsp baking soda

Pretzel Topping

  • 2 tbsp pretzel salt
  • 2 tbsp butter melted

Instructions

  • Warm the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir in the granulated sugar and active dry yeast.  Set it aside for five minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, add the sourdough discard, butter, AP flour, and salt.
  • Once you start to see bubbles on the surface of the yeast mixture and it begins to smells bread-like, pour into the bowl.  Turn the mixer on low for 6 minutes.  It will go from a shaggy dough to soft and smooth dough.
  • Transfer into a greased bowl, cover, and set in a warm spot until it has doubled in size (1-2 hours).
  • Divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces, each about 93 grams.  To shape the pretzels, roll out into a 24” long rope.  Pull the ends down to form an arc.  Twist the ends around each other, lift up and press onto the sides of the arc.
  • Transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray and repeat with the other pieces of dough.  I fit six pretzels on each tray.  Place the trays in a warm spot and allow the dough to puff up and rise slightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  • Meanwhile, bring one quart of water to a boil.  Stir in a tablespoon of baking soda and simmer for several minutes.  Pour this mixture into a 9 x 13” baking sheet.
  • Dip the pretzels into the water for 30 seconds.  A fish spatula is the prefect tool to use for this task.  Place each one back onto the baking sheet and sprinkle over a little pretzel salt.  You may need to gently reshape the pretzels after this step.
  • Bake both trays at 450º F for 20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through the bake.  As soon as the pretzels come out of the oven, brush the tops with a little butter.  This adds a nice shine and great flavor.  These pretzels are best right out of the oven or rewarded.  

Notes

Pair with your favorite mustard or queso for a delicious savory snack or spread on a little Nutella for a sweet treat!  Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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