Sourdough Soft Pretzels

Sourdough Soft Pretzels have a wonderful flavor and chewy bite. Just when you thought homemade soft pretzels couldn’t get any better, they do! 

sourdough soft pretzelsI’ve made soft pretzels several times over the last year or so and didn’t really plan on posting another pretzel recipe just yet. But I recently made some terrific Sourdough Soft Pretzels which I baked in a 185 year old wood-fired oven and wanted to share it with you.

Don’t worry, you don’t need a wood-fired oven to make these pretzels!

sourdough soft pretzelsMy sourdough starter has been wonderfully active lately and I’ve been making all sorts of new recipes that go well beyond a loaf of bread, including Sourdough Donuts & Sourdough Bagels. So I thought, why not use the starter to make the pretzel dough?

If you don’t have one, check out my post to learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter. Then check out my system to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter or you can learn How to Keep a Small Sourdough Starter

This is a 2 day recipe because I don’t use any commercial yeast in the dough, just the starter. But the vast majority of the time is hands-off.

I like to start the dough in the afternoon/evening of day 1 and then roll the pretzels the next morning. Because it is a soft dough, it’s easiest to roll while it’s still cold.

Watch the video in my Sourdough Focaccia post to see how to turn the dough on the first day. It’s exactly the same process with the pretzel dough.

If you work on this schedule you’ll have fresh hot pretzels by early afternoon. The baked pretzels freeze really well. Just pop them in the oven to re-warm before eating.

We ate these Sourdough Soft Pretzels with my Jalapeño Cheddar Dip, only this time instead of a fresh jalapeño I made the sauce with chopped up Pickled Jalapeños. YUMMMMMY!

So here you go, my favorite new pretzel recipe!

sourdough soft pretzels
Sourdough Pretzel dipped in picked jalapeno cheese sauce.

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Sourdough Soft Pretzels.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

sourdough soft pretzels
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4.59 from 548 reviews

Sourdough Soft Pretzels

These big, soft-pretzels have an extra special flavor and texture because they’re made with sourdough starter.
Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Bake Time14 minutes
Rising Time12 hours
Total Time13 hours 44 minutes
12 Pretzels
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  • 8 oz active sourdough starter (1 cup, 100% hydration)
  • 10 oz warm water (1 ¼ cups)
  • 17 ½ oz all-purpose flour (3 ½ cups, see note)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 ½ oz baking soda (⅓ cup, for boiling)
  • 1 egg white (lightly whisked)
  • salt and seeds for garnish


  • Combine the starter and water in the bowl of a stand a mixer with the paddle attached (or mix by hand).
    8 oz active sourdough starter, 10 oz warm water
  • With the mixer running on low add 2 cups of the flour and mix to form a smooth batter. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 30-60 minutes.
    17 ½ oz all-purpose flour
  • Switch to the dough hook and add the sugar, salt and remaining flour. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will clear the bowl and cling to the hook after kneading. If mixing by hand knead the dough hand for 5 minutes, sprinkle with extra flour as you knead if required.
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature.
  • After 30 minutes uncover the bowl, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. You’re basically turning the dough inside-out to redistribute the yeast. Cover the bowl and after 30 minutes repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes repeat the procedure again.
  • Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes turn the dough one more time. By now the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Make the Pretzels (Day 2)

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the parchment paper with vegetable oil.
  • Turn the cold dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rope. Using flat hands, roll the dough back and forth moving your hands in opposite directions from the middle of the rope towards either end. If the dough gets sticky dip your hands in flour and continue. The dough should stick to the surface just a little so that the friction will allow you to pull the dough into a long rope. The longer and thinner the rope the more open the pretzel shape will be. Try to get the rope to about 20"-24"
  • To form a pretzel lift the dough rope on either end and allow the middle to sit on the surface, forming a "U" shape. Twist the ends of the rope together 2x and fold the twist over and rest on the center of the "U". Lift the pretzel by the two top loops and place on the oiled parchment paper.
  • Cover the tray with oiled plastic wrap and set aside to for 1 hour to bring the dough to room temperature.
  • Combine the 2 quarts of water and baking soda in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Preheat the oven to 475 °F.
  • Drop the pretzels into the boiling water for 10 seconds, flip and boil another 10 seconds. (I can fit about 3 at a time in my pot, don’t overcrowd the pan). Set the boiled pretzels back onto the baking sheets (lined with oiled parchment).
  • Brush each pretzel with egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt and/or seeds of your choice. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn the sheets halfway through baking so they brown evenly.
    1 egg white, salt and seeds for garnish
  • They’re best eaten warm from the oven. They also freeze really well.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 1pretzel | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 1916mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe for a beginner! I made them for the first time yesterday and they were absolutely perfect fresh out of the oven. I put the leftovers in a ziplock bag overnight and they too soft and chewy today, even the outside crust. I made another batch today and tonight they all went into my freezer. My question is, what is the best thing to store them in? Ziplocks? Aluminum foil? A bread bag? Can you freeze a bunch in the same bag and then take only 1 out at a time?

    1. For all my breads I pack them into gallon sized freezer bags. You could certainly put the baked pretzels into a freezer bag and take them out, defrost and reheat as you want to eat them.

  2. 5 stars
    Love these pretzels! I have made them many times and always enjoy them. This morning I just noticed the metric conversion, I had converted it myself and everything came out great…I always weigh ingredients when baking. The recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of APF which, according to King Arthur Flour, is 420 grams (120 grams per cup). I am curious how you come up with 496 1/2 grams of APF?

  3. I just love that you realist the ingredients with the steps which makes it so much easier for those who are out of ink and can’t print the recipe! Genius! And the pretzels are my new favorite thing! Thx so much

  4. 5 stars
    I just made these on a cold and rainy spring morning and oh my goodness did they turn out nice! I’ve made pretzels a couple times before, but never sourdough (I’m relatively new to the sourdough bread-making hobby), and I won’t ever make them another way again. Thank you so much for the clear instructions.

    One tip, I actually used my wok to boil the pretzels. Woks have a good surface area to volume ratio, so I suspect it made the process a bit easier than using a pot. I also rolled the dough out and let it rest for a few minutes, then rolled and rested some more, and then a third time, and I was able to get fairly large pretzels like you find at the ballpark. I think if I were to divide the dough into eight rather than twelve, I could get them even closer to that size.

  5. I’ve made soft pretzels before using dry active yeast that turned out really great. The step with the baking soda bath was a bit different. I boiled water in my electric kettle, then poured 2 cups into a bowl and dissolved 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Then I just dipped each pretzel in the hot water briefly, before transferring to a baking sheet. They baked perfectly and tasted like pretzels should. Do you think I can do the same thing for the sourdough pretzels instead of dropping them into the boiling soda water? Thank you!

  6. The recipe says to add 3 1/2 cups of flour but in the recipe directions it says to only add 2 cups of flour when mixing. What’s the right answer here? My dough was more sticky than ever so the 2 cup typo might cost me my whole batch, we’ll see.

    1. Step three instructs you to add the remaining flour. “Switch to the dough hook and add the sugar, salt and remaining flour.”

    2. In the next step (step 3) it says add sugar, salt and remaining flour, so that is when you add the other cup and a half

  7. These measurements don’t work. A cup of my active starter is about 6 oz. I’m going to try this anyway, but now I’m concerned about the ratios.

    1. Everyone’s starter will be slightly different based on the condition of the starter, the hydration percent, etc. Mine generally weighs close to 8oz. Of course if it’s super active it could be lighter. But that’s as exact as I can be with volume measure. If you have a scale you should be using the weight measurements. The volume measurements are only there for folks who don’t have a scale and must use volume measure. Volume measure will never be as accurate as weight measurements.

  8. Why do the pretzels begin to sweat if you store them and don’t eat them all at once? For this much work I’d like to make more than one batch. Otherwise I really enjoy them!

    1. @Elaine, The “sweating” is from the salt on top. Salt will draw moisture to (and out of) the bagel, so they’ll get wet if they’re inside a container or bag.

    1. Yes, that should work. The dough might be slightly wetter with the syrup so just adjust the flour if you find the dough unworkable.

    2. @Eileen Gray,

      Wow! That was fast! And thank you! I was thinking the barley malt might add a nice flavor to the pretzels, every recipe I use of yours is so good, I can’t go wrong, right 🙂

  9. Hi I was just wondering if we really need the baking soda for the boiling part?
    I hope not because i really want to make some pretzels but we don’t use any baking soda or baking powder. Thank you!

    1. The baking soda is what gives the exterior of the pretzel the characteristic slightly bitter flavor. You can make them without the baking soda, but they won’t taste the same.

  10. 5 stars
    The best pretzels ever! Made a couple of times already.

    Not as successful with the jalapeño cheddar dip recipe no matter how carefully I follow the recipe though. Is runny hot and a hard glob cooled down. Help?

    Thank you!

    1. The cheddar sauce will solidify as it cools down. It’s meant to be eaten while warm. The brand of cheese you use can also make a difference in the exact texture of the sauce.

  11. If I used fairly recent and lively discard can I refrigerate for 2 days or does it need to be made the day after?

    1. I would think that you could refrigerate for 2 days. Use your judgement based on how lively the dough seems during fermentation. If it get nice and active during that time it will probably hold up well in the fridge.

      1. Would it be ok to leave on the counter for 4 hrs during right before the last turn and putting it in the fridge?

        1. I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking, but if my kitchen is not too warm I’ve left sourdough on the counter for up to 8 hours.

  12. 5 stars
    These are the best soft pretzels I have ever had and the first time I’ve made pretzels.
    Absolutely delicious!
    Just follow the instructions – they are very thorough.
    One tip: after you boil the pretzels, don’t re-use the same oiled parchment that you rested them on after shaping them. We did and they stuck to it so much that we had great difficulty peeling it off.
    Use new oiled (we used spray) parchment.

  13. These were so lovely and soft, perfect eaten warm out of the oven, very moreish! The sea salt on top added great flavour and texture. We made half with sesame seed topping and half with poppy seeds, both options tasted delicious! They kept well and tasted lovely the next day too.

  14. Thanks for this recipe! I’m mixing it up tomorrow for stuffed pretzel sandwiches the next day! You roll out the dough, put on cheese and meat, seal it up, boil like normal and then bake for 20 minutes, all egged and salted. Butter liberally when out of the oven. Oh my…I can’t wait!

  15. Why did you change the units from grams to ounces? And why are you now mixing volume ounces and weight ounces? Makes the recipe really hard to understand.

    1. I updated the recipe card. This card will toggle between US and metric rather than me having to manually calculate for each ingredient. If you click the US/Metric button at the top of the card you’ll see it switch from one to the other. I’m not sure where the volume and weight ounces are mixed. Please let me know which ingredient you’re referring to.

    2. @Eileen Gray, ahhhh perfect!! Thanks. I’ve made those about 15 times in the past two years. Super awesome recipe! I started panicking. The volume to weight conflict was with the 1cup/8oz of sour dough starter in the imperial. My mind was splintering.

      1. No problem. I always weigh my starter, but pretty consistently find that a cup of starter weighs very close to 8oz. Also, I hope you like the new recipe card. I love it. I like that it can toggle between US and metric and that I can list the ingredients with the steps so you don’t have to scroll up and down to check the measurements.

  16. These came out delicious! I’m new to sourdough and surprised they turned out as well as they did for a first timer. I’m used to cooking but not so much baking. If I freeze them, how should I reheat? What oven temp and how long? Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. They freeze beautifully. You can rewarm them in a low oven (200F) either from frozen or defrosted.

  17. I’ve made these twice so far and they have been the best pretzels my family has ever tasted. They have ruined other pretzels for me.

    I decided to make a double batch today and realized the first two times I accidentally was doing 300 GRAMS of water and not 300 ml of water. Although this explains why I was needing to add much more flour than suggested.
    Somehow they still turned out fantastic both times. I’m curious to see how they could possibly taste any better with the correct amount of water added.

  18. Made these this weekend and LOVED them. I am going to freeze some before I eat them all! The parchment stuck a little to the pretzels after baking. I either didn’t oil it enough, or maybe removing them right away would have helped.

  19. So this may be an obvious question but what is the temperature the warm water should be when mixing with thr starter? If too warm will it hurt the cultures in it?

    1. I generally make the water slightly warmer than body temp, about 100F. I often “cheat” and use quite warm water if my starter is still very cold from the fridge. As long as you don’t get the starter over about 120F you won’t be in the kill zone.

    1. Just to be clear so there isn’t any confusion. The recipe as it is written is meant to use active sourdough starter, not discard. That being said, if you just want to add the discard for flavor and not for leavening do the recipe as written and add up to a packet of yeast. If you add a full packet the rising times will be similar to regular yeasted bread (1 hour rising time). If you want to give the dough more time to develop flavor you could add as little as 1/4 tsp of yeast.

  20. I have made these twice now, and I’ll be making them again. I accidentally discovered, due to schedule restrictions, that a second day of rising and second evening in the fridge really enhance the sourdough tang. I made mine with about 70% whole wheat flour and loved them.

    1. @Beth, did you refrigerate the first night, pull out the next morning, re-fold/activate the yeast, then refrigerate over night again and bake the next day? Thanks in advance!!

  21. These were the best! My favourite sourdough recipe yet…would it work to do the quick boil prior to freezing? Or better to freeze pre/post cooking? Thank you!!

  22. Can I simply double this recipe? I’ve made them several times, but I’m wondering if any adjustments are needed in doubling.

  23. I’ve been making Alton Brown’s soft pretzel recipe for a few years now and we love them. I’d like to try your sourdough ones but I live at 7200 ft and know that the altitude can mess up sourdough baking. Do you have any suggestions about doing this recipe at high altitude?

    1. @Eileen Gray, the main thing for me at altitude I’ve found is the effect on the hydration of the dough. I find the hydration needs to be a little higher for the same result, but its best to experiment with smaller percentage increases and work your way up. But I am trying your recipe now and kept the hydration as is. The dough is a little firmer than I am used to, but it came off the sides of the bowl and onto the dough hook as described so I’m holding thumbs for a good result!:)

    2. @Wendy,
      I’m at high altitude also and whenever I bake with sourdough,as I’m putting the dough in the oven, I toss about a cup of water in the oven to steam/humidify it.

      Works perfectly.

  24. I have been using 120 grams as the metric weight for flour for all of my recipes since I started baking bread a little over a year ago. I think it is so much easier to weigh ingredients instead of measuring and I don’t have to wash the measuring cups! I see that you use 140 grams as the metric weight for flour, so I am not sure which weight to use when making your sourdough pretzels. I use King Arthur flour and they use the 120 grams. I am wondering if I should start with the 120g and then if the dough looks too wet, just add more flour. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Nina. You are right that weighing ingredients is easier and more accurate than using cups. That being said, the weight of a cup of flour is not an absolute. It depends on how the person doing the measuring fills the cup. I use the “dip and sweep” method to fill the cup. That is, I dip the cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess flour. Using this method I consistently get 5 oz per cup (140g) for ap and bread flour. If you spoon the flour into the cup you’re likely incorporating more air and the cup of flour will weigh less. Different bakers use different methods. Always follow the recipe weights as written since the recipe writer will have tested the recipe using their own method for measuring the flour.

    2. @Eileen Gray, Thanks. I appreciate your quick reply. I was actually in the process of making a batch when I posted the question so I went ahead and started with the smaller amount but ended up with about what your recipe called for (140g). I didn’t actually measure what I added. The dough was so lovely and when I took it out of the refrigerator in the morning it was full of bubbles. The pretzels got rave reviews from my husband and I agree. I will definitely make this recipe again and just start with the 140g.

      I just recently found your website and I have really enjoyed your recipes. I also love the details of your instructions and all of your information about sourdough. There is a lot of information out there about sourdough and over the year and a half that I have been working with it I have read a lot of confusing and conflicting information. Yours has been very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

    1. “Active” sourdough starter means a starter that has been fed and is ready to use. Discard is what you have before you feed the starter.

    2. @Eileen Gray, unfortunately, this and many other recipes on the internet claim in the description
      to use to sourdough discard, only to find the actual recipe uses the starter.

      1. @Diane, the header description in the recipe says “they’re made with sourdough starter” and the recipes lists “active sourdough starter”. So I’m honestly not sure where the confusion is coming from.

      1. While I appreciate that Foodprint shared my recipe, it is confusing that they say it’s a discard recipe. You could use discard, but of course you’d have to feed it first to make it active enough for the recipe.

    3. @Diane,

      I found this recipe by stumbling upon an article that showed 20 ways to use a sourdough discard instead of wasting it. I ended up just using my discard and they turned out wonderful with no issues with rising.

    1. Anything that you like. I often use just coarse salt, but I’ve also used an “everything bagel” mix.

  25. Any idea how long I could leave the dough in the fridge? Yesterday should have been the shaping and baking day.

  26. Can I freeze the dough? If so, at what point, and do I need to let it rise when I pull it out of the freezer?

    1. To be honest I’ve had hit or miss luck freezing sourdough. Sometimes it can be a bit sluggish when it comes out of the freezer. I like to completely finish the pretzels, then freeze any leftovers. They can be reheated in the oven and they come out quite nicely.

  27. Hello! This looks great and we are already on the process of making it. However, your recipe calls for 1/3 cup of baking soda and the instructions never say when to add it in.

  28. I made these today and they turned out so good! I’m vegan so i skipped the egg wash (and also skipped the salt for personal health reasons) and they still came out so nice snd golden brown. I’m so happy with them!

  29. I also struggled with moving mine to the water. I just cut the parchment under them into squares and picked each one up by the parchment. The dough separates from the parchment in a few seconds and can be fished out.

    1. Instead of twisting the ropes into the pretzel shape, cut the ropes into segments. Then rise, boil and bake as directed.

  30. I absolutely love this recipe – I use it all the time! The regular pretzels turn out amazing! My friends and family are constantly asking me to make these.

    I wanted to ask about adding parmesan and garlic toppings. I’ve tried adding shredded parmesan, garlic, and parsley a few times and it always comes out a big soggy for me. Do you think there’s a different bake time / temp that you’d use to be prevent it from coming out soggy?

    1. Do you add the toppings as you would the salt? Are you using the egg white to brush the pretzels? What is soggy, the pretzels itself or the topping?

    1. help, mine don’t seem to be turning out. after following the directions everything looked good until it was time to boil. the pretzel dough seems so soft now that its hard to pick up. not sure what happened. they did sit a little longer than an hour…..could that be it. so sad

      1. If the dough over-rises it can be difficult to handle. Did you already boil them? They might look a bit wonky but taste ok.

  31. Hi there, this is my second time using this recipe, but this time I noticed a piece of the recipe where I need a bit of clarification (I was looking through the comments to see if any one has asked this, but I ran out of patience so I apologize if this is redundant). You have written out – 3.5 cups (17.5 oz, 490 g) AP flour – but when I do my math 3.5 cups equals 28 oz and therefore roughly 793 g. So my question is, which number should I follow? 490 g or 793 g?

    Thank you!

    1. 3.5 cups is 28 oz if you are measuring water. But a cup of flour does not weigh 8 oz. A cup of all purpose flour weighs 5 oz. Water is denser than flour so a cup of water weighs more than a cup of flour. The numbers in the recipe are correct.

  32. My family are junkies for pretzel bites and they wanted them TODAY. For those asking if you can make this in one day, yes, after the first day instructions, just leave it out at room temp to finish bulk ferment for another 3-5 hours (my house is super cold so I put it on the oven with the light on at 75* for another 4 hours). This dough was so silky and amazing to work with even when warm, thanks for an awesome go-to sourdough pretzel recipe!!

  33. Hi, made this recipe once before and LOVED the results (the pretzel bites were actually a bigger hit than the whole pretzels). Hoping to serve these fresh from the oven for guests but want to do minimal work when they are over. Any experience/advice on boiling them and then stopping at the step right before putting them in the oven? That would be ideal… Thanks!!

  34. I’ve been trying few months bake sourdough bread and learnt a lot from some more experienced bakers. Well, this recipe I intended to try pretzels as another trial to succeed.. Everything was great and this morning I noticed it had risen so I thought well my other bread attempts did not rise so what if I made a loaf instead????? Well.. to my surprise.. it worked so well… my most successful Sourdough pretzel bread … delicious, soft and yummy . So saving this recipe as my confidence is renewed.. baked covered at 450 for 30 mins then 15 mins uncovered at 400.. and I did the test knock the bottom to see if was done.. thank you thank you.. seemed very unconventional but wish I could share pic.. great for sandwich bread

    1. Cool! I also have had a hard time getting a good rise in my sourdough loafs. How big was your pretzel loaf? Did you boil it? Did you use a load pan or just let it rise without any mold? I was thinking of making pretzel buns, but thanks for the idea to make a pretzel loaf!

  35. Hello Eileen, your Pretzels look amazing and I definitely want to give them a try (as well as quite a few of your other sourdough recipes. I just can’t find the video that you recommend I should watch !! Can you please highlight and send the link through please? Many thanks in advance!!

    1. If you’re running an ad blocker the video won’t play. If you turn off your ad blocker you’ll see the video player.

  36. These are awesome. I halted the recipe because there are just two of us. Yesterday afternoon I baked some that I started Monday night. They were so good we polished off all six pretzels in about an hour. I immediately started on another batch and baked them this morning for breakfast. Yum!

    Thank you for this great recipe.

  37. Would substituting bread flour for the AP flour work in equal measurement or does it work better with just AP flour? I have both just have more bread flour currently. Also I’m super excited to make these!!

    1. Since bread flour has a higher protein content it will absorb more liquid. You can learn more about how different type of flour absorb water (and see a photo) in this post. You can use bread flour but may want to hold back a few tablespoons of the flour. If you find the dough is still pretty wet you can add the remaining flour. If the dough comes together you can leave out the last few tablespoons. A wetter dough is harder to handle but results in a lighter pretzel.

      1. He’ll, wanted to wanted to ask regards to after shaping, do you let it rise until double the size only boil it? Thank you .

        1. I don’t wait for the pretzels to completely double in size before boiling. If the pretzels were made with dough cold from the fridge I find that giving the shaped pretzels enough time to come to room temperature before boiling I still get a nice rise during the boiling and baking.

  38. I did, but now I see the mistake. I have been making bagels too frequently so i ended up doing one table spoon of brown sugar one tablespoon baking soda in what was probably more than 2 liters water. I will drop the brown sugar and scale up the baking soda on the remaining pretzels later today.
    They were still very very good!

  39. I am ding this and I cannot undertand step 6. Am I supposed to just turn it over or fold one last time? Does it also ferment at any point after the folding proccess and before going in the fridge? The comments refer to a long fermentation proccess on day one but I don’t find any reference to that in the description.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Step 6 should be the end of the initial fermentation process. You’re doing a final fold before putting the dough into the fridge for the night. It is not completely specific because often the dough may need a little more time to ferment, especially in cooler weather when the dough might be slower to become active. If at the end of the 3 hours you find that the dough is lively, supple and aerated then you can either refrigerate the dough overnight or go ahead and shape and boil the pretzels. If the 3 hours have passed and the dough still seems sluggish and heavy give it another hour or two at room temp until the right texture is achieved.

      1. I can’t believe how quickly you responded. Thank you so much! That clarifies it. I am now at the last hour and will refrigerate until the evening and bake for dinner. i will let you know how it went but so far I love this recipe and working this dough! Thank you.

        1. I ended up baking half yesterday (skipping the fridge) and left half the dough in the fridge for today. They were hell to shape at first but its a learning process. I think the fridge step will really help. They turned out so so good! I was wondering though how to get the pretty brown color, mine were quite pale and I ended up overtaking them in trying to achieve the color.

          1. Did you boil the pretzels before baking? Boiling in the baking soda water promotes browning. If you skip that step they won’t brown as much and the flavor will be a little different.

  40. Since the quarantine i was so craving warm soft prezzkes like you can get in a mall. These hit the spot in all the right ways. And i feel better about these for me and my family. I know every ingredient and the benefits of sourdough. Thank you very much for a great recipe

  41. Hi. I had the same concern. I have three children 5 and under… there’s a lot of competion for my attention. Knowing myself i named mine Pip, officially making it a pet and actually decided to keep him on the counter. For me it makes me be more mindful of its status and gets attention daily like a pet. The plus side is it pushes me to bake more often.

  42. I can’t figure out how to give a review. I definitely would give this five stars. I used my sourdough starter, and I did substitute bread flour for all-purpose. I totally neglected the dough and left it in the fridge for more than 24 hours, but the end product was fabulous! (Also, not a wood-fired oven… just regular convection) I made 11 pretzels out of the dough, and will probably triple the recipe next time, because 10 minutes later, my teenage and young adult sons ate ten of them.

    1. To leave a review you need to click on the number of stars. Hint: if you want to give a 5 star review click all the way to the right side of the last star on the review card. Once you click a box will pop up with the option to add a comment if you’d like. Thanks for the feedback!

  43. I’ve made these pretzels twice now. Only change was omitting the sugar. Let me say that these pretzels are A-MA-ZING. Everyone who has tried them raves about them. My boyfriend eats the heck out of them. I only wish they weren’t so difficult and time consuming to make or I would make them more often.

  44. Tried so hard to make these right but invested a ton of time and energy and they did not turn out. Sourdough is not easy!

  45. Help! Can I put in fridge during step 3 and start again in the morning? It’s getting late and afraid it won’t rise and be ready for sitting overnight when your instructions say (unless I stay up till midnight)

    1. Hi Stephanie, Sorry I didn’t see this comment last night. You can refrigerate the dough at any point during the process. But if the dough hasn’t had the full time to ferment you’ll need to give it that time the next day. I would say take it out of the fridge and give it the time to ferment then continue with the recipe.

  46. If I want to make these into sourdough pretzel rolls can I just roll them into balls instead of form them into pretzels? Will that work equally well? Thanks

    1. You know, I haven’t tried it but if you look through the comments and reviews I believe someone said they did that. It’s worth a try for sure.

  47. I’ve seen in other recipes that they pop the shaped pretzels in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to help them keep shape when boiling – would you recommend that or would I risk spoiling your recipe? They’re rising right now for the one hour in your recipe and I’m not sure if I should try it or not.

    1. A few minutes in the freezer should be fine. That might work well if the dough is very soft and you’re finding it hard to handle. I also like the idea someone else mentioned of cutting the parchment around the pretzel and dropping the whole thing into the water.

  48. I have done these a few times and love them. I am fairly new to sourdough starter.
    I was wondering if I prepped them first thing in the morning and then let them sit in the fridge all afternoon could I make them mid evening?

  49. Hi, I started using sourdough starter first time this year. This recipe turned out great. Was surprised how much the dough rose overnite.

    1. Are you mixing by hand? I haven’t tried it, but this recipe might work with the “no knead” method. That’s where you mix the dough and don’t do any kneading. The gluten is developed during the folding/fermentation process. I haven’t tried this recipe with that method, so please let me know if you try it how it works out.

      1. I don’t have a dough hook or a stand mixer, so made the whole recipe by hand. For steps 1 & 2 on day one, I used my hand mixer and it worked just fine. When I tried to mix in the additional flour in step 3 (day 1) with the hand mixer, it went so far up the beater that I was afraid would get caught in a place that might damage the mixer, so at that point I gave up on the mixer and tried to blend in the rest of the flour with a spoon. That became difficult so I turned it all out on my quartz countertop and just started kneading in the rest of the flour. I did use additional flour to dust the surface and when the dough felt sticky. Since I have made other bread products by hand before, I had an idea as to what the dough should felt like. I don’t know if I kneaded for 5 minutes, but the dough felt soft and flexible, but not sticky. Kneading by hand will work just fine!

        I also followed the steps to allow the dough to rise on day 1. I didn’t have an opportunity to bake the pretzels the following day, so I ended up not baking them until 3 days later (I made the dough Wednesday evening and baked the pretzels on Saturday evening). I left the dough in the refrigerator and it doubled in size by day 2. I punched it down 2 nights after I made the dough, but still didn’t have time to rollout and back, so back in the refrigerator it went. It rose again so that it was the size of the first rise. I don’t know if the extra rise time did it or I had very active starter (it was only the 2nd discard from starting my sourdough starter!), but these were the fluffiest and most tender soft pretzels I’ve ever had or made! This recipe is definitely a keeper as these were delicious! Thank you for sharing it!

        1. Personally, I either make bread dough on the stand mixer or by hand. For exactly the reason you describe, the hand mixer is not the best tool for making bread dough.

  50. I”m a total beginner/ experimenter with starter going since March. I keep my starter thick but I don’t measure in detail like a lot of people. My husband couldn’t keep his hands off these pretzels and usually he is so-so with my sourdough recipes. They are not beautiful but they taste GREAT. I’m going to incorporate the one-at-a-time shaping so the dough can stay cold to try to make them prettier. If I can do these anyone can, trust me. THANK YOU!

  51. I baked these this morning and they’re delicious! I have a fairly new and robust sourdough, and am always looking for things to do with the extra.
    I noticed quite a few comments mentioning the dough was too wet. My experience was similar, but your description about the dough pulling away from the mixing bowl saved me. I kept adding flour a little at a time until it behaved as described; in total I probably used another half cup. (I should also mention that I always weigh out my ingredients, since I believe there’s too much deviation in volume measurements.)
    Thanks for a great recipe! I plan to try some of the other discard recipes on this site.

  52. I made the pretzel dough yesterday and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning when I started to cut the dough into 12 pieces I found that as soon as I made a cut the two sections of dough either side of the cut stuck back together. Was my dough too moist? I ended up by cutting it with scissors and keeping the two cut sides apart from each other as I cut.

    I found the dough soft and floppy when rolling it into “sausages” but at least it didn’t stick to a lightly floured bread board. I wondered if it would help if the board were more heavily floured, but I was afraid to add more flour to it in case it spoiled the pretzels. What do you think?

    After one hour I lifted the pretzels from the baking tray with a spatula and immersed them in boiling water/soda mix. They were pretty floppy to lift, and impossible to slide sideways off the spatula into the water. However, I solved this by lifting the pretzel onto the spatula and then quickly turning it upside down so that the pretzel dropped flat into the water. Turning it over in the water was no problem.

    After all the nervous moments, the pretzels turned out well and my family loved them. 15 minutes after they came out of the oven there were none left.

    Do you think my dough was too moist and should I add a bit more flour next time?

    I see from the comments that some people have had problems with making the sour dough starter. It might be worth letting people know that it is best to use bottled water because if their city’s tap water is treated with chlorine or monochloramine it could inhibit the growth of the yeast. In fact, my first two attempts failed for this reason (monochloramine). As soon as I used bottled water my starter was a success. I am now thinking that I should use untreated water for making the pretzel dough as well. I’ll try it next time and let you know if it makes a difference.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Anne, the pretzel dough is a soft dough. That’s why I find it easiest to form the pretzels with the dough while it’s still chilled. I use tap water for all my starters and doughs with no problem at all. But we do have good tap water. If your water is very chlorinated or has heavy minerals you could use bottled water. I made side by side starters using bottled and tap water and the two starter behaved exactly the same. But, again, our tap water is quite good.

      1. Hello Eileen, Thank you for your speedy response. I did cut the dough into 11 pieces to form the pretzels as soon as I took it out of the fridge. Seeing as the ends of the pieces stuck together before I had finished making a cut, does it sound to you as though the dough was too soft? Would adding more flour make it a bit firmer and easier to handle or would this make the pretzels “tough”? I am fairly new to sough dough starter so I find it hard to judge.

        After my two failures at making the starter I gave up but when we had a shortage of commercial yeast due to the pandemic, I decided to try again using three separate jars thinking that at least one of them should work. They all worked so now I have a fridge full of active starter and I’m looking for more ways to use it. Haha. You just can’t win.

        Our tap water comes from a river over a thousand km in length and the rock along its route is predominantly limestone. The city treats the water with monochloramine and I think it’s also given boosts of chlorine at intervals as it flows through water pipes. I really don’t know if this would affect the starter.

  53. I made these last weekend and they were a big hit! Even though only one of them really looked like an actual pretzel they were devoured! I topped some with classic coarse salt, some with everything but the bagel seasoning and some with panko bread crumbs. And with mustard and beer they were just perfect! Thank you!

  54. Hello, I’d love to make these, but if I want to halve the recipe, would I also halve the amount of yeast?! Thank you in advance!! 🙂

    1. Yes. Or make the full recipe and freeze the extras. A few minutes in the oven is all you need to reheat and enjoy!

  55. I started these yesterday and finished up today. Everything went as expected until shaping the pretzels The dough is VERY wet & sticky. Next time, when separating into 12 pieces I will work with 1/4 at a time and keep the rest cold. Place the pieces onto a floured surface or they will stick – I placed them on wax paper which was a bad decision – I lost the equivalent of 2 pretzels . Where Eileen says lightly flour surface use more than what you think of as light. As I rolled the dough into rope I had better success if the rope was nicely coated with flour. Next time I will not bake on parchment – the paper stuck (it was well oiled) and I had to cut off most of the bottoms of the finished pretzels. I would just oil the baking sheet to bake. Finally, these taste very good but not much of sourdough. Next time I’ll bump up my starter content.

  56. I made these today and they were *perfect*. I was nervous yesterday because the dough started out pretty sticky and hard to work (it even stuck to the oiled bowl), but I stuck with it (heh) and it worked beautifully when I turned out the cold dough for shaping this morning. They baked up into some of the best pretzels I’ve ever had, much less made.

  57. While I’m new at the whole do it yourself sourdough,I’m having fun finding all the things to do with excess starter (I hate to be wasteful). Coincidentally, my wife had recently requested pretzels, which I’ve made before by the traditional method, so this was a great find.

    Great recipe. Had a few issues with shaping but, ended up with a few “poster child” examples which went on social media to great and envious reviews. Actually, I had 75% starter and it turned out fine. I’m about to make a double batch and I’ll try some pretzel dogs too.

    BTW: if you have a bagel size toaster and didn’t go too big on size, they are great freezer to toaster.

  58. Hi Eileen, I always seem to have trouble with boiled items (pretzels, bagels) that they wrinkle up so much in the water, and although they plump up a little in the oven, they still look slightly wrinkled and not at all like the lovely ones in your pictures. Any advice? Thanks for the great recipes! Made your sourdough sandwich loaf and my BF said he’ll never eat store bought bread again! Looking forward to your sourdough pretzel roll recipe.. 🙂

    1. Are you putting the pretzels right into the oven or letting them sit out for a while. Have the oven preheated before you start boiling so they can go right into the oven.

  59. I’ve made these twice now and they turn out so delicious! I do have a problem with boiling the pretzels though. I can’t seem to do it without them really stretching out or losing their form. I’ve been dropping them in by hand and using a spatula to flip and retrieve the pretzels but despite my best efforts they seem to want to break apart. Any tips/tricks to help with that?

    1. Do they unwind or the dough actually breaks apart? If they are unwinding have you tried to really pinch the two ends in place after making the twist?

  60. These came out great! I measured by weight but I think my starter was a tiny bit wet so I ended up having to add a little bit more flour until my dough pulled away from the sides of my mixer. I have made them twice now and had to add more flour both times. I used cinnamon sugar on mine and they were delicious. I’m going to try to make them into pretzel bites instead of full pretzels next time!

  61. These were amazing! Our next door neighbor and his band (Six Feet Apart – so named for today!) gave a concert all afternoon on the driveway. I was in and out while tending to my dough and baking. I cut the pretzels up into smaller pieces and was able to share with the band and the neighbors who were out for a social distance party. A HUGE success!

  62. Tried this, mine fell…. flat. I don’t think my starter was active enough. I did feed it for 5 days so I don’t know where I went wrong there.

    1. I need more information to help you. When did they “fall flat”? Did the dough ever rise during fermentation? Did they fall when shaping, before boiling, in the oven? You say you feed your starter for 5 days. Is this a brand new starter or one that you’ve already baked with?

  63. Looks like great pretzels! But there does not appear to be a link to the video anywhere on this page. Please let me know how to watch the video.

    1. If you have an ad blocker on your computer the video won’t run. If you turn off the ad blocker you should see the video player.

  64. When we ran out of commercial yeast, we made a sourdough starter (so we’re new to this). I thought the dough had enough flour because it pulled away from the edge of the bowl while mixing. However, when I put it into the oiled bowl it was extremely wet. After reading the comments above, I realize my starter was too wet. I probably should have added more flour. Question: should I try to add more flour now? There is a fair amount of oil on the outside — would that mess up the dough? Thanks!

    1. If you just finished making the dough then, yes, you can knead in a little more flour. The oil will get kneaded into the dough and unless it’s really a lot of oil, like several tablespoons, it should be fine.

  65. Made too much starter for a pancake recipe this weekend so I decided to give these a try. About half of the starter I used was active starter and half was discard from the day before (refrigerated), just because that’s what I had on hand. Took a risk and made it using that by giving every step a little extra rise time. They just came out of the oven and I ate THREE IN A ROW. I used “everything but the bagel” seasoning for half and kosher salt for the other. Amazing. Perfectly crispy on the outside and soft, light, and slightly chewy on the inside . I will definitely be making and experimenting with this recipe again!

  66. I’m into the stretch and pull portion of the recipe. I feel like my dough is too stiff. I followed the recipe, 100% hydration starter, and it is really stiff. I stretched it once and it did well, but now it is difficult to stretch. I’m afraid I messed it up. I was making a sourdough loaf recipe and had left over active starter. I did the measurements by weight so they were exact. Is it salvageable?

    1. I know this was last night but it’s still a good question. Whenever the dough get too hard to handle let it rest for 10 minutes or so and it should relax a bit. How did it work out in the end?

  67. Can you make pretzel rolls with this. I have made before and I can’t figure out why not. It is really a rewarding recipe.

    1. Yes, some folks have told me they’ve made them into pretzel rolls. I do have a pretzel roll recipe, but it’s not sourdough. Have sourdough pretzels rolls on my “to do” list.

  68. I began my first starter in the middle of April and have tried a number of recipes, with yours being the only one that had dough that behaved appropriately the entire time. I was getting discouraged until I tried this recipe, thank you so much! I had a difficult time shaping them, but they definitely got too warm and I will keep the rest of the dough refrigerated while shaping next time.

  69. Hi!

    I want to serve them warm from the oven in the afternoon, what would you recommend timing-wise?


    1. Make the dough the day before. In the morning shape the pretzels as soon as your take the dough out. I take about 20 minutes to roll the pretzels, but it could take as long as 30-45 minutes depending how comfortable you are working with dough. Then you’ll need an hour or so for the pretzels to rise, about 10 minutes for boiling and 15 minutes for baking. That comes to about 2 – 2.5 hours total time from fridge to out of the oven. Of course all those times will vary based on how you work, the temp of the dough and room, etc.

  70. I have made quite a few recipes from my starter. This recipe was the first one I used my Kitchen aid. I have gone thru the two 30 minute rest and the 60 minute. My dough is sticky and not rising. Anything I can do?

    1. The kitchen aid wouldn’t really make a difference as far as rising. Since this question was from last night I’ll ask how things went later one. Did the dough ever activate?

  71. This recipe is just divine!! They turned out sooooo good!! I was so happy to find a recipe that only needed sourdough starter. I’m already starting another batch. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOOOU!!!! ✨✨

  72. Great recipe, these turned out perfectly! My only suggestion is to bake them for two minutes before dropping them in the baking soda bath so they hold together in the water. When I tried just dropping them in after sitting out, they kept falling apart but two minutes in the oven was enough to firm them up.

    1. By “falling apart” do you mean they untwisted or that the dough actually broke apart? Did you still get a good crust with pre-baking?

      1. Every time when I make them, I dread the baking soda bath because I will drop the beautiful pretzel in the water and then when I need to pull it out of the water a couple seconds later, it is a mangled soft mess and doesn’t look like a pretzel at all. Other than that, they are delicious.

  73. Just made these today and they turned out great! My whole family loved them. I’ve baked with sourdough quite a bit, but this was my first time trying pretzels. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    A few comments…it is a pretty wet dough so the suggestion of keeping it cold is definitely necessary. After separating the dough the following day, I put them a baking pan lined with parchment paper and put them back in the fridge. Then took them out one at a time to shape them so they stayed cold. Another challenge was how to get them into baking soda bath. After letting them sit for an hour they were again soft and sticky and hard to pick up with my hands or a spatula. The first one I did totally lost its shape. My wife suggested I cut out the parchment paper around each pretzel and pick up each pretzel with the parchment paper and put it into the bath, paper and pretzel together. She said she’d seen it on the British Baking Show. Anyway, this worked great! I don’t know how anyone else makes this step work, but that’s what worked for me.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. Working with the dough cold is very helpful. I find that if the parchment paper is oiled I can lift the pretzels by the top and let them dangle as I transfer to the water. As an FYI, the wetter dough makes for a lighter and crisper pretzel as an end result.

        1. Boiling the pretzels in baking-soda water (alkaline) gives the pretzels their characteristic brown, slightly bitter crust. Otherwise they would be tasty, but not pretzely.

  74. Followed the recipe to a tee. The dough was VERY wet. Too wet. Nevertheless, i pressed on thinking measurements were correct. Still too wet after the overnight in the fridge. Continued on through the difficult shaping process and hey totally fell apart in the boil. Soo disappointed.

    1. Hi Jan, I literally just made these this morning following the recipe as written and they were wonderful. As is noted in the recipe, the dough is sticky especially when it’s not cold. Is your sourdough starter fed with equal weights of starter-flour-water? Did you weigh your ingredients? If you measure ingredients with cup measure make sure to use the “dip and sweep” method for measuring the flour. That is when you dip the cup into the bin and then sweep away the excess. If you spoon the flour into the cup you can end up with less flour than specified. If I can answer any specific questions please let me know.

    2. I had the same issue! I think it is just that my starter is a lot more watery than most since I use potato flakes and not flour to feed it – I added about an extra cup or so of flour to get it to the texture I wanted but next time, I think I will just leave out or at least halve the amount of water I add. Everyone has a different starter and they all have different textures. My pretzels turned out great in the end – maybe not as pretty as the pictures…but tasty nonetheless.

    1. Yes, but I wouldn’t use only whole wheat flour since it’s not great at developing gluten. I would use up to about 1/2 whole wheat and the rest either all purpose or bread flour. I just made these this morning and they are delish!

      1. Thanks! I’m excited to make these. I have vital wheat gluten at home, have you ever tried adding some to this recipe?

          1. Eileen! My pretzels were a-MAZ-ing!
            A few tweaks I did: I subbed about half the flour for whole wheat and added 2 TBSP of vital wheat gluten (which meant another cup or so of water). I did this mostly because of being low on AP flour, but next time I would probably use just AP flour if possible.
            I also used Aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas) instead of an egg wash. I like to veganize when possible; and you can’t find eggs anywhere now anyway.
            This was my first sourdough recipe and it was a solid gold A+. Thanks!

    1. What do you mean by too goo-y? Hard to handle? Sticky? Is the dough cold or are you using it straight after fermentation?

  75. Can I use something other than parchment paper? We apparently ran out and didn’t buy more. I have wax paper and foil. Just not sure how important that parchment paper is. I’m on day 2 and ready to make them.

  76. I just polished off my first fresh from the oven pretzel, and I’m about to go back for another. These are excellent. My starter wasn’t super strong, so I added about 3/4 of a tsp of yeast. I’ll be making these again.

    1. Hi Emily, adding a hint of commercial yeast is a great idea if your starter is sluggish. Otherwise just be patient and give the dough lots and lots of time to develop.

      1. Baked these bad boys up tonight and they came out so good. I didn’t have high expectations because I used my discard that had been sitting on the counter for a few days. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  77. Really bummed, I tried this recipe twice and ended up trashing the dough both times. Followed the recipe exactly, my starter was floating in water so it was active but the dough would not rise. Tried extending the rise time, it finally did rise so into the fridge it went, next morning, it was a nightmare to work with. It just fell flat when trying to shape it, it was super sticky and wouldn’t hold any shape, just flattened into blobs. So much waste. Definitely not trying my hand at pretzels ever again, at least not from a sourdough starter!

    1. I’m sorry you had trouble with the recipe. I find that if I shape the pretzels with the dough still cold from the fridge it’s fairly easy to handle. Do you use a 100% hydration starter? A wetter starter would make a wetter dough. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. I do have a couple of pretzel recipes made with yeast if you want to try one of them. Beer Infused Bavarian Pretzels and Pumpkin Spice Ale Pretzels.

  78. I made these today and they came out perfectly! It was my first time making pretzels. I will definitely be making them again in the future 🙂

  79. I used whole white flower instead of all purpose flower and my dough turned out with a very thick consistency kind of like a thick cookie dough. Is this how the dough is supposed to be and if not should I add more water perhaps thanks in advance!

    1. I’m not sure what whole white flour is. The dough should be the texture of a slightly sticky bread dough and will become more cohesive as it ferments.

  80. I made these today and they are so good! They worked really well and have such great flavor. I did salt, caraway seeds and some with cinnamon sugar. I definitely recommend this recipe!

  81. I tried this and my dough came out way too runny. Maybe by starter was too wet? It was like putting soft taffy into the boil & what came out was sad blobs that looked like they might have been deep fried frogs

    I’ve switched to measuring my starter feed by weight vs volume & will try again. What consistency should the starter be? Cake batter? Soft dough like ciabatta? Sticky like rolls before you knead them?

    1. Hi Tiffany. This recipe was developed with a 100% hydration starter. That means the starter is fed with equal weights of starter-flour-water. The texture is like a very, very thick batter or very wet dough. If your starter was the texture of pancake batter that would be too moist and you’d need a little more flour in the recipe. Also, working with the dough when it’s cold from a night in the fridge makes shaping the pretzels much easier.

  82. They turned out great! Soooooo good. We topped them with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning!

  83. Thanks. It seems to be doing okay all of a sudden. I went and folded it a few more times and it’s now more lively and not sticking to the bowl. It took 7 hours! I put it in the fridge and can’t wait to make them in the morning.

  84. First time making anything with my sourdough starter. Does this dough rise in the bowl during the 4 – 5 hours that first day? I made mine about 3 hours ago and have followed all of the directions. I’m used to regular bread dough that would’ve doubled by now but this looks the same.

    1. Yes, it should rise during the long fermentation on the first day. It will also become more elastic and “lively”. How long it takes depends quite a bit on the temperature of the dough and the room. If your dough feels very cool it will be slow to rise. Sometimes I will set the bowl of dough over another bowl that has some warm water in the bottom (not touching the bowl with the dough). This can help warm the dough and kick-start the process. If I have a slow moving dough I’ll just leave it out all afternoon and evening, then put it in the fridge right before bed. You can’t really over-rise the dough at this point.

  85. Could I stretch this not a three-day recipe – leave the dough in the fridge overbite, roll & shape, fridge again, then remove on day 3, let it come to room temp, build & bake?

    1. Hi Dave, You probably could. Or you could leave the dough for two days in the fridge then take out, shape & bake. I’m just afraid that a full day in the fridge the shaped pretzels might over-rise a bit.

  86. This is the second time making this recipe. The pretzels were requested for a super bowl party. So I did a double batch. One exactly as written the second substituting 60 grams dark rye flour for the regular flour and adding two heaping tablespoons of caraway seeds. I used the sourdough rye to make a stuffed Rueben pretzel. I smoked a corned beef, chilled and diced fine. Drained and squeezed the liquid from live sour kraut and rough chopped the kraut, using a high-end Swiss cheese to top with a couple drops of thousand island dressing before sealing all that goodness in the dough. I stretch the dough for filling by cutting the dough into equal parts and placing on an oiled plate. Once toppings were on I brought the edges over one another and pinched closed. I cooked as detailed in the recipe, using the water bath and baking. Crispy and chewy,

    Thank you for giving me the inspiration to bake your delicious pretzels and create something from your original recipe.

    1. Wow, you’re speaking my language Brian! That sounds amazing. I might steal your idea of a rye/caraway pretzel since rye is my favorite bread.

    1. You could. The dough might be a little more difficult to handle since the cold dough is a little less sticky. But you could shape the pretzels right after the fermentation time then leave them at room temp to rise.

      1. Working on these for supper tonight! Do you have a recommendation for how long the dough will keep in the fridge before shaping the pretzels?

        1. I’ve had this dough in the refrigerator for as long as 16 hours. You could probably get away with 2 days.

    1. Oops, sorry about that Tracy. I’ve corrected the measurements in the recipes. It’s 1 1/4 cups of water.

  87. These were great. Exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you. Will need to double the recipe next time 🙂

    1. I would think for convenience it would be easier to bake then freeze. You could warm them in the oven to revive the texture. But it would work either way. To freeze before baking I would freeze them after shaping. Defrost, bring the dough back to room temp, then boil and bake.

  88. Does the starter have to be fed and active beforehand or can it be discarded starter that’s been chucked in the fridge?


    1. I used an active starter. You can use the discard but then you’d probably want to add some yeast to the dough to give it lift. I’d suggest adding a teaspoon of yeast.

      1. I used a discard and it turned out just fine (didnt have yeast at the moment). I just let the discard come up to room temp prior to using. It takes some extra time and I did one more turn and overnight proof but still got a full rise!

  89. I love your use of sourdough. I have just started baking with starter the last 3 months so love having another recipe to use my starter on.

    1. What hydration is your starter at? Mine is 100% hydration (I add equal weights of flour and water each time I refresh the starter) and I had to add a bunch more flour to turn it from soup into dough. I’m guessing your starter has a different hydration level and so I should have reduced the amount of water I added. The formed pretzels are resting on their baking trays now in prep for boiling soon .. fingers crossed!!

      1. My starter is 100% hydration as is noted in the recipe. If your dough was the texture of soup something else definitely went wrong. Did you watch the recipe video? You can see how the texture of the dough changes during the fermentation time.

      2. Mine usually has a clear/yellowish liquid on top when it has been in the fridge for a bit. I just stir it all together and let it come to room temperature before feeding it with the 100% hydration method. Always turns out great again.

  90. The wood fired oven sounds like fun! I have been ogling a baking steel which might bring my home oven closer to that, raising the conductivity. I’ve seen it used for pizza. But as yet, still looking. Oh and I love the hints of poppy seeds on yours!

    1. Hi Wendy, I’ve put the starter in the refrigerator and forgotten about it for weeks at a time, and it’s still alive! Give it a shot, you’ll get hooked.

    2. You can store it in the fridge and feed it only once a week, or even dry it out on parchment paper and crumble it into a mason jar. Then you reconstitute it a few days before you want to use it, feeding it once a day.