Sourdough Soft Pretzel Recipe

By | June 29, 2011

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Sourdough Soft PretzelI have been making homemade whole wheat soft pretzels for awhile now, using a modified version of Alton Brown’s recipe.  After taking the Sourdough e-course at GNOWFGLINS, I wanted to come up with a version that uses my sourdough starter.  So I played around with the original recipe and finally came up with a version that I loved.

They are easy to make and oh so yummy.  These pretzels smell amazing right out of the oven.

Sourdough Soft Pretzel Recipe


  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (may need more)
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Coarse pretzel salt

In a large bowl, combine the sourdough starter, water, melted butter, and flour.  You may need to add additional flour.  You want a dough that is not sticky.  Cover the bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.

When ready to make your pretzels, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the 2/3 cup baking soda to the water.  (This will bubble rapidly for a little bit before calming down.)  Meanwhile, divide your dough into 12 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a long rope.  Form the rope into a U shape and twist.   Press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.

I press them in lightly to hold the shape together.   Quick tip:  if you use a glass cutting board to shape the dough, put a wet dishtowel underneath to keep it from slipping on your counter.  One at a time, drop the pretzels into boiling water for 30 seconds.  Drain.

Place the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper brushed with oil or a silicone mat.  Brush each pretzel with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool, then enjoy!

Sourdough Soft Pretzels

The recipe makes 12 pretzels.

Per Pretzel:

  • 217 calories
  • 5.5 grams fat
  • 5.6 grams fiber


  • I have also used coconut oil  or olive oil in place of the butter in this recipe.  However for best taste, use real butter.
  • If grinding your own flour fresh, use a hard wheat.  You can also try kamut but that may change the amount of flour you need slightly.
  • I ended up using close to 5 1/2 cups of flour, but mine was freshly ground.
  • I could not find pretzel salt in my regular grocery store.  I was able to find it however, in a bulk food shop.  Amazon carries it too if you can’t find a local source.

8 thoughts on “Sourdough Soft Pretzel Recipe

  1. Nicole B

    Stopping by from the Stumble hop (nicolebang on SU). New follower here too from Mom Always Finds Out.

    I love that these use wheat flour – I have been looking for more stuff my kids will eat made with wheat flour.

  2. Yvette

    There is nothing in the world that sounds better right now!
    I will have to give this recipe a try tomorrow!

  3. ymase25

    Thnx for the recipe – but I’ll have to prepare the sourdough starter first.

  4. Sara

    I am really excited about this recipe! Thanks for posting. One question though, should I use “just fed” starter or hungry starter?

    1. Jen

      You can use hungry starter on this one. It’s not going to need to rise as much as a loaf of bread would so your starter doesn’t need to be in its domed state.

      I haven’t made these in awhile. Something funky is going on with our water and I keep killing any sourdough I try to get started. We got a new filter though so maybe I will try again :)


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