Sourdough Discard Bavarian Pretzels

A good Bavarian/German pretzel just hits the spot. I can eat them forever, plain, just like a good loaf of bread. Most traditional German pretzel recipe calls for lye, but that is too intimidating for me knowing how clumsy I am. This small batch sourdough discard pretzel recipe uses a baking soda bath instead– similar to how you would make bagels– but the end result is just as good.

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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Bavarian Pretzels

Small batch sourdough discard German pretzel recipe.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rest Time4 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: German
Keyword: sourdough, sourdough discard
Servings: 6 Pretzels

Ingredients

Pretzel dough

  • 120 g water warm
  • 6 g brown sugar
  • 120 g sourdough starter or discard
  • 280 g bread flour
  • 28 g unsalted butter or oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast optional

Baking soda solution

  • 5 cups water
  • 85 g baking soda

Egg wash + salt topping

  • 1 egg or your milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp water omit if using milk instead of egg above
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  • Stir brown sugar into warm water until dissolved. If you are adding active dry yeast, now is the time to add it. Stir in sourdough starter or discard and then add melted butter, salt, and finally flour.
  • Knead until a smooth and elastic dough forms– approx 5-10 minutes by hand. Cover and let rise for about 3-4 hours in a warm place until almost doubled.
  • Divide out the dough into about 6-8 pieces. Stretch and twist into pretzels. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450F. In a large pot, add water and baking soda and bring to a boil. Add the pretzel dough into the water and boil for 45 seconds on one side before flipping and boiling for another 45 seconds on the other side. Remove and place on a baking sheet.
  • Brush with egg wash (1egg + 1 tbsp water), sprinkle on salt and pop into the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Notes

active dry yeast: spike the dough with it to help it leaven quicker

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael says:

    When you say “Add pretzel dough into the water and boil for 45 seconds on both sides,” does that mean a total of 45 seconds or 45 seconds for each side for a total of 1.5 minutes in the soda bath?

    1. Xian says:

      45 seconds per side! Thank you for asking, I’ll update the recipe for clarity!

  2. Christy Keys says:

    5 stars
    Wow! I made these today and they are incredible! As I was going through the rising, shaping and the acid bath I wasn’t sure if it was going to be worth the effort, but let me assure you, it 100% is! Amazing! I will be putting these again for sure.

    1. Xian says:

      I’m so happy you like them! <3

  3. C Keys says:

    Wow! This may be the best thing I’ve ever made with my discard! These are better than any soft pretzel you can buy. I will be making these regularly.

  4. Katia says:

    Can you add honey instead of brown sugar?

    1. Xian says:

      Yes you can! You may need to reduce the water just a little to account for the extra water in the honey.

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