These sourdough pretzels are pillowy soft on the inside and crisp and golden brown on the outside. They are made overnight and can be made in a variety of flavors. Nothing can beat homemade sourdough soft pretzels.
I rarely get this excited over a recipe, but this sourdough soft pretzel recipe is incredible. I literally got giddy tasting these. They are soft and chewy on the inside with a salty, crisp exterior.
The flavor is so amazing when you use a sourdough starter. It took me straight back to eating a Bavarian pretzel in Germany.
Ever since I created my own sourdough starter I can’t get over how much better bread tastes! Sourdough is my new obsession and I love how it adds so many great health benefits to my baked goods. It also is great for people that have trouble digesting gluten.
Sourdough Cooking Class:
If you are new to the sourdough game, don’t be scared! Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to work with. If you are in need of some general direction I have two blog posts that can help. One is a general guide for yeastless bread recipes and the other one focuses on how to feed your starter.
And as always I am here to help however I can! You can write me a comment below or send me an email and I will be happy to help.
Now let’s make some delicious sourdough soft pretzels!
How do you make sourdough pretzels from scratch?
Sourdough pretzels from scratch take some time, but it’s well worth it.
You want to use bread flour for this recipe as it helps with the pretzel dough structure. This is a general outline of how to make sourdough pretzels from scratch. If you want the full recipe jump to the recipe portion down below.
The Night Before:
We first start by making an overnight poolish. Combine the poolish ingredients with the sourdough starter (this is your bubbly active starter not the sourdough discard).
I like to make this in my stand mixer bowl for less dishes. Let this mixture sit overnight, covered lightly with some plastic wrap.
The next morning combine the poolish with the remaining ingredients. Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5 minutes.
Let the dough rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and cut the dough into 12 equal portions. The dough will be slightly sticky. If the dough is too sticky to work with brush your hands and your work surface with a tablespoon of oil.
Next roll each piece of dough into a long 12 inch log. If you want larger pretzels roll into a 15 inch log.
Shape the pretzels (instructions below) and the place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cook the pretzels in a water bath with baking soda for 8 seconds.
Transfer to the baking sheet and top with coarse salt.
Cook for 10-12 minutes. Brush with melted butter and serve warm.
How To Shape A Soft Pretzel:
Shaping pretzels can seem harder than they actually are. Just follow these simple steps. You can also watch the video tutorial where I show you step by step how to shape the pretzels.
- Roll the dough into a 12 inch log.
- Shape the log into a “U” shape.
- Take the two ends and twist two times.
- Then fold the ends down to the bottom part of the “U”.
- I like to have the ends cascading off of the bottom of the pretzel.
Soft pretzels are really like a blank canvas. Try out these yummy topping variations. You can also stuff the pretzels like I did for the jalapeno cheese variation. I included the stuffed pretzel variation in the recipe.
Pizza: Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni
Cinnamon bun: Top with cinnamon sugar and bake. Then drizzle with a cream cheese glaze.
Everything but the bagel: Top with everything but the bagel seasoning
Rosemary salt: Mix in fresh rosemary to the dough. Top with coarse salt.
Parmesan: Top with grated parmesan.
Jalapeno cheese: Top with pickled jalapenos and shredded cheese.
Storing and freezing:
You can store these sourdough pretzels in an air tight container at room temperature.
They also freeze great! To freeze place them flat on a baking dish and flash freeze for 3 hours. Then transfer the pretzels to a gallon sized ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Sourdough Recipes:
If you love sourdough as much as I do, try out these other sourdough recipes. All are made with sourdough starter. They are equally delicious!
Sourdough Soft Pretzel Recipe:
These sourdough pretzels are pillowy soft and stretchy on the inside and crisp, golden brown on the outside. They are made overnight and can be made in a variety of flavors.
The Night Before:
- 1 cup bubbly active sourdough starter
- 3 cups water
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
The Morning Of:
- 1/2 cup powdered milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour (+ 1/4 cup if needed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- coarse kosher salt to top
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
Jalapeno Cheese Version:
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded (plus extra to top)
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/4 cup pickled tamed jalapenos, drained (plus extra to top)
The Night Before:
1. Make the poolish by adding the starter, water, bread flour and brown sugar into a stand mixer bowl or a mixing bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let it sit out for 8-12 hours.
The Morning Of:
2. The next morning add the poolish to a stand mixer bowl if you didn't use one overnight.
3. Add the 1/2 cup powdered milk.
4. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar.
5. Add 1/4 cup cubed butter.
6. Add 4 cups bread flour.
7. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
8. Mix on low.
9. Knead for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. If the dough is not coming together you can add an additional 1/4 cup flour.
10. Cover with saran wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
11. Place 1 tablespoon oil on your hands and work surface. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and form 12 equal portions.
12. Roll each dough portion into a 12 inch rope. For larger pretzels roll to 15 inches. Form a "u" shape with the rope.
13. Then twist the two ends of the "u" over each other. Take the ends and place them at the bottom of the "u".
14. Let the pretzels rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
15. Bring 8 cups of water to a simmer. Add 1/4 cup baking soda to the simmering water.
16. Place the pretzels into the water bath for 8 seconds. Make sure to bathe the top of the pretzel.
17. Remove to a parchment lined baking sheet and top with coarse Kosher salt. Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes.
18. Remove from the oven and brush the pretzels with melted butter if desired.
Jalapeno Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Option:
19. Make the jalapeno cheddar filling by adding the pepperjack cheese, cheddar cheese and pickled jalapenos to a food processor. Blend for 20 seconds.
20. Roll the dough portion into a 12 inch log and then press down to flatten. Place a small line of filling in the middle and fold over to create a seal.
21. Try to make sure all the filling is concealed. Shape the pretzel.
22. Follow directions 14-18. Top the pretzels with shredded cheese and pickled jalapeno when baking.
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