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.
Sourdough Bavarian Pretzels
- 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
- 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.