Sourdough Pretzels 3 Ways

Prep Time:

25 Minutes

Cook Time:

15 Minutes


12 Pretzels



About the Recipe

I love pretzels but haven't tried this one yet!



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed, see Recipe Notes

  • 1 cup sourdough starter discard, unfed, at room temperature, see Recipe Notes

  • ¾ cup water, warmed between 100°F to 110°F, see Recipe Notes

  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk, see Recipe Notes

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar, or brown sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons yeast, instant or rapid rise, see Recipe Notes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 9 cups water

  • ¼ cup baking soda


  • 1 large egg white, plus 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash (optional)

  • pretzel salt, or coarse Kosher salt (optional)

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, optional

  • prepared mustard, brown or yellow, for dipping (optional)


Step 1

Make the dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (or a bread machine on the Manual setting), mix and knead the dough ingredients to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky. Add in additional flour or water in one tablespoon increments to get the dough to the right texture.

Step 2

Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes (it won't rise much). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 3

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it.

Step 4.1

For a traditional pretzel shape: Divide the dough into 10 to 12 pieces, each weighing about 2½ to 3½ oz (70 to 100g). Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Loop the ends around each other twice, then flip the ends over.

Step 4.2

For hamburger buns: Divide the dough into 8 to 10 pieces, each weighing about 3 to 3½ oz (85 to 100g). Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten each ball into a disk about 3- to 3½-inches in diameter.

Step 4.3

For sandwich rolls: Divide the dough into 6 to 8 pieces, each weighing about 3½ to 4½ oz (100 to 135g). Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten, fold, and roll each ball into a log.

Step 5

Boil the pretzels: Dissolve the baking soda in the water and bring to a boil. Boil the pretzels in the baking soda bath for 20 to 30 seconds per side, drain them on a paper towel, and put them on a half sheet baking pan lined with a Silpat silicone mat or parchment paper.

Step 6

Optional egg wash and topping: Before baking, brush the boiled pretzels with an egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to give them a glossy shine. Sprinkle them with salt, if desired.

Step 7

Bake the pretzels for 12 to 15 minutes (20 minutes for hamburger buns or sandwich rolls), until they're a light golden brown. Note: This is correct; there's no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.

Step 8

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter (optional, but who am I trying to kid…of course I brushed the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter!).

Step 11

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Original Recipe