Sourdough Soft Pretzels


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unfed sourdough starter
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water, or more as needed
  • ¼ cup powdered milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Combine flour, sourdough starter, water, powdered milk, butter, brown sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until dough comes together. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if dough is dry.


  • Step 2

    Remove dough from the bowl and shape into a ball. Clean and dry bowl; grease lightly. Return dough to the bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

  • Step 3

    Turn dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Fold and shape into a rectangle. Divide equally into 12 pieces. Keep pieces covered with plastic wrap while working. Roll out 1 piece at a time into a rope about 18 inches long.

  • Step 4

    Loop and twist 1 rope into a pretzel shape. Place on a baking sheet while you finish rolling out and shaping the remaining pretzels.

  • Step 5

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  • Step 6

    Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in baking soda until dissolved. Lower 1 pretzel into the boiling water bath for 30 seconds, flipping halfway through. Remove using a large flat spatula and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

  • Step 7

    Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water to make egg wash. Brush each pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.

  • Step 8

    Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush each pretzel with melted butter. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

  • Cook's Note:

    Substitute bread flour for the all-purpose flour, if desired.

    Editor's Note:

    Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of sodium in baking soda. The actual amount consumed will vary.

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