Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sourdough Pretzels

We just love this easy and quick recipe for sourdough pretzels that helps use up excess starter.

It is easy to keep a sourdough starter (I promise)! - please check out my Quick Start Guide for more information.
2 cups sourdough starter, this is the one I have
1 tsp. salt, try this
1 tbsp. sugar, I used this one
2 to 2 1/2 cups sprouted flour (I used half white wheat and half wheat)
1/4 cup baking soda
1 pasture egg, beaten
1 tbsp. filtered water
Course salt for sprinkling, try this one
How To:
1. Dough: In a medium sized bowl, combine the starter, oil, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Add the flour a half cup at a time until the dough is too stiff to stir any longer. Depending on the consistency of your starter, you will use from 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour. When you can no longer stir with a spoon, place the dough on a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes.

2. Make Ropes: Divide the dough into 15 to 20 pieces and roll each into a 14-inch long rope of dough. The dough is pretty slippery, so the best technique I found was to roll it on an un-floured wooden cutting board.
3. Make Pretzels and Proof: Twist each rope into a pretzel shape and press gently where the dough crosses itself to secure. Place each pretzel on a parchment lined baking sheet. If you have a proofing box, proof for 1 hour at 85 degrees F. I don't have a proofing box, so I set my baking sheets on top of my stove for about an hour with my oven turned on to 200 degrees. A proofing box is supposed to provide heat and humidity and this option works reasonably well. You could also try placing the pretzels in the oven with only the oven light on.
4. Water Bath: Add baking soda to a large pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Carefully place pretzels into boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overcrowd! Only place a few in at a time. Remove with a slotted spoon, let drain on paper towels or a wire rack, and then place back on your parchment lined baking sheet. You may think they are going to un-coil, but they do not.
5. Egg Wash & Salt: With a razor blade or sharp knife, make several diagonal slashes on your pretzels. This will allow gases to release while cooking and furthermore achieve a traditional pretzel appearance. Combine the water and beaten egg and mix well. Using a brush, brush the egg mixture on the tops of the pretzels and sprinkle with course salt. You can also sprinkle with other flavorings at this point (my husband likes spicy pretzels so we sprinkle some with a dried hot pepper seasoning).
6. Bake: Bake at 425 degrees for anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes, check at 25 minutes, or until browned. Let cool and then enjoy! You can serve with cheese sauce (or use this to make an easy cheese sauce) or spicy mustard and a nice dark beer.
This makes anywhere from 15 to 20 pretzels and you can store them at room temperature for a few days in a container. If you store them uncovered, they will get pretty crunchy, which you may like. Any longer than a few days, and you will want to freeze them. They taste fantastic and I think you will really enjoy this simple recipe. This is a super quick sourdough recipe since there is no rise time, but it does take about two hours from start to finish considering the time to roll and shape each pretzel as well as proofing and cook time. This is a great recipe to use up any excess starter. Also, a note about the flour, I use sprouted flour for this recipe since there is not a significant rise time. If you are concerned about ensuring your grains are properly prepared, you should also use sprouted flour in this recipe.
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This post was shared at Fight Back FridayFoodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Busy Monday, and Real Food Wednesday. Please follow the links for more great recipe ideas!


  1. These look delicious, and a great way to use sourdough for something NOT sweet - I haven't had any ideas except muffins and bread lately.

    1. They are really great. You'll have to give them a try and let me know what you think. I am addicted to my sourdough starter these days. Have you tried a savory pancake yet? I have a recipe for Ham & Cheese Sourdough pancakes that is really good. I would love to see any great suggestions you have for muffins.


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