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Soft pretzels on a tray with salt and mustard

Sourdough Soft Pretzels

These Sourdough Soft Pretzels are so reminiscent of ballpark pretzels. Not quite as big, but certainly big on flavor, texture, and salt!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Course: All Recipes, Sides, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 196kcal


Pretzel Dough

  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup sourdough starter unfed/discard * (see substitution below)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast


  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • coarse pretzel salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter optional


  • Prepare the Pretzel Dough: Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Grease the parchment with vegetable oil spray to make double-sure the pretzels won't stick. Mix and knead together all the pretzel dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water. Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally.
  • Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 2 ¼ to 2 ½ ounces. Roll each piece of dough into an 18" rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
  • Dissolve the sugar in the water for the topping. Brush the pretzels with the solution and sprinkle lightly with coarse pretzel salt.
  • Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. (Note: This is correct; there's no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking) Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.


  • If you do not have sourdough starter, you can omit it all together and substitute it with 4 ounces of additional bread flour plus 4 ounces of water
  • Store pretzels loosely covered at room temperature for 2-3 days
  • Recipe from King Arthur Flour


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.6g | Protein: 6.6g | Fat: 3.7g | Saturated Fat: 2.2g | Cholesterol: 5.2mg | Sodium: 401mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 2.2g
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