The Best Soft Sourdough Pretzels : Sourdough Sundays

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Use your sourdough starter to make these fabulous, golden brown soft sourdough pretzels topped with either kosher salt or Everything But the Bagel Seasoning for a homemade pretzel that can’t be beat!

A baking sheet with 8 golden brown soft pretzels on it.

Once a month I go looking for sourdough recipes that I can use with my sourdough starter, Virgil Flours.  In the last year I’ve made a lot of breads, muffins, and breakfast foods with my sourdough starter but I’m always looking for something new.

That’s when I found a recipe for Soft Sourdough Pretzels.   I don’t know about you but whenever I’m out and about and need a snack I immediately go for a hot pretzel at the nearest stand in the mall.   They are filling, almost always good, and they are cheaper than buying a meal. 

A couple of times a year I make soft pretzels for my husband and I.  I have some really great recipes on here including Cheddar Garlic Pretzels and Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzels.  I’ve never made sourdough pretzels though and I decided there was no time like the present.

This is a great sourdough discard recipe because you don’t need to feed your starter before using it.   It also uses yeast so the combination of the sourdough and yeast makes the pretzels rise quickly so that you can make the pretzels in 2-3 hours.

For this recipe you will need:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • instant yeast
  • salt
  • milk
  • sourdough starter
  • butter
  • kosher salt
  • baking soda

All the ingredients for the pretzels are combined in a bowl.  There’s no need to wait for the yeast to bloom or active before you begin making it.

After the dough comes together it needs to be kneaded for around 10 minutes.   This took a lot of effort as the dough is thick and strong.  I was concerned it wasn’t going to smooth out but it did.  Once finished kneading it goes into a bowl to rise.

A baking sheet with 8 unbaked sourdough soft pretzels on it.

Once the dough has risen it is cut into eight pieces.  Each piece is rolled into a thin snake and then formed into a pretzel.  Each pretzel is placed on a lined sheet pan and left to rest for 30 minutes.

This is where things get fun.  The pretzels are then boiled in a baking soda water bath and put back onto the baking sheets.   Before going into the oven they are brushed with butter and sprinkled with kosher salt.  I also sprinkled a few with Everything But the Bagel seasoning because it’s just super yummy.

When the pretzels came out they were golden brown and perfect.   The outside was slightly crunchy while the inside was soft and warm.   They were delicious on their own but also tasty when served with cheese sauce or mustard.

If you aren’t going to eat them right away simply store them in an air tight container for several days and heat for a few seconds before enjoying them.  I doubt they will last that long but you never know!

Pin Image: A baking sheet with 8 golden brown soft pretzels on it, text, a bowl with rising dough in it with a jar of sourdough starter behind it.

Pro Tips and Substitutions:

  • Instead of big soft pretzels you can cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll into a snake to make pretzel rods.
  • Depending on the hydration of your sourdough starter you may need to add additional water to the dough.  I added in 3 more tablespoons to get my dough to come together.   Add water by the tablespoon until your dough comes together and is easy to knead.
  • Feel free to add different toppings to your pretzels before baking.  Some ideas are sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar, Parmesan cheese, or garlic and herbs.

If you’ve tried my Soft Sourdough Pretzels or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

A baking sheet with 8 golden brown soft pretzels on it.

The Best Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Yield: 8 pretzels
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 2 seconds
Total Time: 3 hours 2 seconds

Use your sourdough starter to make these fabulous, golden brown soft sourdough pretzels topped with either kosher salt or Everything But the Bagel Seasoning for a homemade pretzel that can't be beat!


For the dough:

  • 4 c. flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. unfed sourdough starter
  • 1-3 Tablespoons water

For the pretzel boil:

  • 8 c. water
  • 3 Tablespoons baking soda

For the toppings:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • kosher salt


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix until well combined.
  2. Add in the milk and sourdough starter and mix until the dough begins to come together.
  3. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough sticks together.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough softens.
  5. Spray a bowl with cooking spray, put the dough in it, and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has almost doubled.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  7. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about a half inch to 3/4 of an inch in diameter and 12 inches in length.
  8. Lay the rope of dough in a u-shape. Twist
    the two ends together twice then fold the twisted ends down onto the base of the "u" and gently press in place. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Cover the pretzels with a towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees and pour the water and baking soda in a large pot over high heat until it boils.
  11. Add the pretzels one at a time to the boiling water. Boil for 30-45 seconds then flip it over and boil for 30-45 additional seconds. Remove the pretzel with a slotted spoon and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  12. Brush each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. If desired sprinkle with additional toppings.
  13. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.
  14. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.


Recipe from Foodie with Family

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1933mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g
A close up view of golden brown soft pretzels on a baking sheet.




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