I don’t know about you, but I could eat my weight in buttery soft pretzels! These pretzels are extra special too because they’re made with sourdough starter which gives them even more flavor with a little tanginess.
If you’ve never made homemade pretzels, you’ll find the process fairly simple, at least I did. Pretzels are much less intensive than bread and the results are wonderful! So wonderful I had to quarantine 3 or 4 of these just for photos so that they didn’t get gobbled up by three hungry teens and my husband! I made a double recipe and they were gone in two days flat and I only got two for myself! Grrr. Guess I’ll be making more soon because they were really, really good!
To get started, simply throw the first 8 ingredients into the bowl and mix together until it forms a dough, then knead for about 5 minutes. I did this process using my stand mixer, but it could be done by hand as well.
Remove the dough after kneading, clean out the bowl, spray the bowl with a little cooking spray and place the dough ball back inside the prepared bowl and cover and let rest for about an hour.
The dough will rise some during the rest.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly greased surface. I have some silicon baking mats that I use for rolling out dough and for non stick baking, so you can use those if you’d like instead of greasing an area – it’s not needed with the mats.
Divid the dough into 12 portions and cover the rest of the dough with plastic wrap while you’re working.
Take a portion of dough and roll it out by hand into a long rope, about 20 to 24 inches long.
Make a double twist, then pull the ends down over itself to make the traditional pretzel shape.
You may have to reshape the pretzel, just adjust the shape to resemble a pretzel.
Cover with plastic wrap while you’re working.
This next step is optional, but it is what gives soft pretzels their chewy texture. If you skip this step, they will not get as dark or chewy, but they will still be very good.
Bring water to a medium boil and dissolve the baking soda completely.
Place one or two pretzels at a time in the boiling mixture and boil for about 20 seconds per side.
With a large spatula, carefully lift and drain the pretzel, then place back on baking sheet.
They will look a little wrinkly when they’re finished, but that’s ok.
Brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.
Bake until dark golden brown, then brush generously with melted butter.
Serve them warm with my Pub Style Beer Cheese!
I don’t know if you noticed the beautiful little iron tray I served these on, but I just love it! There’s a fantastic online home decor shop that I visit all the time called Bits of Vintage. If you love the Fixer Upper Farmhouse style, then you’ll love this shop! My favorite way to find out about the latest deals is to sign up on their mailing list. You’ll receive exclusive notice of home decor deals, sales and discounts.
They have so much more! You have to get on their mailing list, you’ll love their stuff!
- ¾ cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- ¼ cup powdered milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 3 cups water
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together first 8 ingredients.
- Mix by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until it forms a dough.
- Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes with a stand mixer (dough will be slightly sticky, if dry, knead in additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency).
- Remove dough from bowl and shape into a ball. Clean and dry bowl and lightly grease. Place dough ball back inside clean bowl; cover the bowl and let dough rest for about 1 hour at room temperature.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly greased surface and fold and shape into a rectangle. Divide equally into 12 pieces.
- Cover pieces with plastic wrap while working. Roll out one piece at a time into a rope about 18 inches long.
- Loop and twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Place on baking sheet while you finish rolling out and shaping the remaining pretzels.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Bring 3 cups water to a boil, reduce to a medium-low boil and stir in baking soda until dissolved.
- Lower one pretzel at a time into the boiling water bath for 30 seconds, flipping halfway through.
- Remove using a large flat spatula and place on half sheet pans.
- In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush each pretzel with egg wash mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until dark golden brown.
- Remove from oven and brush each pretzel with melted butter.
- Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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