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.

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 oven to 450F. In a large pot, add water and baking soda and bring to a boil. Add pretzel dough into the water and boil for 45 seconds on both sides. 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

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