Updated: Mar 7
Soft and tender homemade soft pretzels is where it is at! If you haven't tried making these delicious handheld snacks, you haven't lived! There is nothing better than that first bite of a fresh warm pretzel with it's crispy outside and pillowy inside dipped in a slather of cold yellow mustard, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! This recipe is so easy and really doesn't require much prep, just some time to allow the dough to rise and develop that amazing sourdough flavor we all love and crave!
One of the things I love about this recipe is that you don't need an egg wash to get your sea salt or seasonings to stick to the pretzel! By salting your pretzels as soon as they come out of their bath, the moisture gives the salt a nice platform to perfectly stick to the pretzel, making this recipe egg free! Homemade pretzels are the best thing that will happen to you and once you've made them you will never look at a processed pretzel the same way.
Why Sourdough is So Good for You!
Have you ever wondered why sourdough is considered a healthier bread? There are several reasons why sourdough is a great choice when looking for a tasty and nutrient dense bread. Sourdough bread is rich in fiber, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (riboflavin) and B9 (folate).
Sourdough bread can be easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivities. I do NOT recommend eating sourdough bread if you have celiacs disease or any type of severe sensitivity to gluten without checking with your physician first. One of the reasons sourdough can be more digestible for those with gluten sensitivities is due to the long fermentation process that sourdough bread undergoes. This allows for the wild yeast and bacteria present from your starter to break down proteins and carbohydrates (fructans) found in the flour .
Sourdough bread can be helpful for individuals working to maintain more stable blood sugar levels as it has a lower glycemic index, which supports healthier blood sugar regulation by reducing the potential for a severe blood glucose spike due to its slower absorption. This is thought to occur due to the fermentation process and how the carbohydrates are broken down and changed .
So grab your starter and let's get baking!
Sourdough Pretzel Ingredients
Makes 10-14 Pretzels
50 g Sourdough Starter
85 g Organic Bread Flour
85 g Cool Filtered Water
525g Cool Filtered Water
50 g Turbinado Sugar
12 g Fine Sea Salt
1000 g Organic Bread Flour
Coarse Sea Salt, for topping (opt)
Everything but the bagel seasoning, for topping (opt)
12 cups Filtered Water
2 Tbsp Baking Soda
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Grass-fed Butter, melted
How to Make Sourdough Pretzels
I like to do this the day before in the evening, but you could do this first thing in the morning and make pretzels the next morning.
1. In a small bowl, combine the leaven ingredients and stir to mix well.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-hours.
The Next Morning
1. The leaven should have doubled in size, if you are newer to sourdough, you can use a glass jar to make the leaven and mark the fresh leaven level with a marker and check to see if it has doubled before using.
2. Dissolve the sugar into the water. I like to do this about 20-minutes ahead of time in a small saucepan over low-medium heat to ensure all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
You can also speed this up by using the microwave, just watch it as the water doesn't' need to be boiling to fully dissolve the sugar.
3. Once the sugar has dissolved, add it to your standing mixer bowl or large bowl to cool down.
You do not want to add hot water to the dough as it can kill the yeast in your leaven.
4. When the sugar water mixture has cooled down, add the salt and leaven to the bowl and mix well with a spatula.
5. Add the bread flour and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until a rough dough has formed.
6. Place the mixer bowl onto the mixer with a dough hook. Set the speed to low and knead until the dough has come together, typically 1-2 minutes.
If doing this by hand, use a wooden spoon or your hand to bring the dough together.
7. Transfer the dough to a clean counter top and knead for 5-minutes until a smooth and shiny dough is formed.
8. Replace the dough back into mixing bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap.
Since my mixing bowl is stainless steel, I use a rubber band to secure the plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out.
9. Set aside for 8-12 hours at room temperature until the dough has doubled.
10. Transfer the dough to a clean counter and using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice out portions of the pretzel dough to roll out.
11. Roll the dough into a long rope by rolling from inside towards the ends.
12. Shape into a pretzel by crossing the ends over each other two times and then folding the ends back over and pressing into the pretzel loop.
13. Set onto a parchment lined baking sheet (I use 2), cover with a clean towel, and set at room temperature for 60-minutes.
14. 30-minutes before second rise is over, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
15. When you are ready to bake, bring a large pot with 12-cups of water to a boil.
16. Once the water is boiling, add the baking soda.
17. Add a few pretzels at a time (I typically do 3-4) and boil on each side for about 60-90 seconds.
The pretzels will sink to the bottom when you first put them in watch that they don't stick.
18. Using a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, remove the pretzels and let the excess water drain before setting back onto the parchment.
19. Immediately sprinkle with coarse salt or your topping of choice while the pretzel is still damp!
I do this one at a time to make sure the seasoning sticks to the pretzels. This eliminates the need for an egg wash.
20. Repeat until all of the pretzels are boiled and seasoned.
21. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
22. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire cooling rack.
23. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces!
24. For cinnamon sugar pretzels (my favorite!)
Do not add salt before baking, bake the pretzels plain
In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and coconut sugar
Brush with melted butter
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture
Q: Can you freeze these?
A: Absolutely! I like to double bag in freezer bags and set out at room temperature for two hours before enjoying, or heat in a 325 degree oven for 3-5 minutes.
Q: Can I refrigerate the dough?
A: Yes, you can, but the rise time will increase as refrigeration slows the rise.
Q: Can I use an egg wash?
A: Yes, absolutely! I just prefer not to use any in my recipe!
Q: What do I do if my dough hasn't risen?
A: Check the strength of the starter and your home environment.
Cooler temperatures will increase the rise time and warmer temperatures will reduce it.
A slow and sluggish starter may need a pick me up!
Feed the starter for a few days, twice a day, and leave at room temperature to pep your starter back up!
Recommended discard 100g, feed 50g flour + 50g filtered water.
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Buttermilk Sourdough Biscuits: Buttery, flaky, and fluffy mouthwatering buttermilk biscuits that are so easy and perfect for dinner or brunch!
Breakfast Sourdough Bread: Sweet, nutty, delicious bread that is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack!
Sourdough Focaccia: Soft and chewy, mouth watering sourdough focaccia with earthy fresh rosemary, juicy tangy tomatoes, and crunchy sea salt flakes.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy