Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sourdough Pretzels - #FoodieExtravaganza

Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza!  

October is National Pretzel Month and #FoodieEztravangza is celebrating. This was great for me because I follow Alton Brown on Twitter and almost everyday he retweets pictures of homemade pretzels. I needed a reason to push pretzels further up on my To-Bake list.  Pretzels are relatively easy to make. The dough is great to work with. The baking soda bath is simple enough and they bake fairly quickly. I decided to use my sourdough starter because I think it gives me dirty looks whenever I reach for commercial yeast. My starter does not have a strong tang. If yours is like mine, and you really want a strong sourdough flavour, feel free to proof overnight or make an overnight sponge with the starter and some of the flour and water.

Not having a strong tang does mean that I am free to play with flavours without them being overpowered by the sourdough flavour. However,  I couldn't decide what flavour pretzels I wanted so I kept them plain and then dipped in various things as I ate throughout the days. I cut some of the dough into smaller pieces and dunked those in butter and cinnamon-sugar. That was an excellent decision. I also had cheese, a spicy sauce and even hummus. 

Next, I think I will try stuffing my pretzels. Peanut butter seems fairly common. Chocolate? My favourite guava paste? Caramel is also celebrated in October and that was an option for us too. I really wanted to stuff my pretzels with caramel. But I was fairly certain that I would make a huge mess. I'll come back to it though. I think I will freeze (or harden) long strips caramel. Put the strips in the dough rope and proceed as usual. Do you think that would work?

Sourdough Pretzels

8 oz 166% mature sourdough starter 
6 oz water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz melted butter
18 oz flour
2 teaspoons salt 

Baking Soda Bath 
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda

Egg Wash
1 egg
2 tablespoon water 

pretzel salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


Combine all the dough ingredients except salt with a stand mixer until just combined. Let it rest for 20 minutes then add salt. Knead until it forms a smooth dough - approximately 4 - 5 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled. The amount of time this takes depends on the ambient temperature and the strength of your starter. This took about 4 hours for me. You can also do an overnight bulk ferment in the fridge. 

When the dough has risen, divide into 3 oz pieces. I had 11 pieces. Roll each out to a 22 to 24 inch rope. Shape into the classic pretzel shape or cut into 2 inch pieces. 

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place a sheet of parchment or a baking mat on a half sheet pan. Bring the 5 cups of water to a boil and then add the baking soda. Place full sized pretzels one to two at a time (depending on the size of your pot) into the water. Use a spoon to spoon water over the top so that the entire pretzel is exposed to the solution. After 30 seconds, use a slotted spoon to remove the pretzel and place on the baking sheet. Beat the egg and the two tablespoons of water and brush over each pretzel. Sprinkle with pretzel salt, if using. 

Bake 15-16 minutes until golden brown. Pretzel bites will take 10-12 minutes.

For cinnamon sugar pretzels, dip the pretzels in melted butter. Add sugar and cinnamon to a zip top bag and shake each buttered pretzel in the mixture. 


15 Pretzel Recipes via Foodie Extravaganza 600x600.jpg

We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food!  Each month we will decide on an all-famous National Monthly Food Holiday in which we will base our recipes around. This month the ingredient is pretzels with an optional ingredient of caramel.  Yes, October is National Pretzel Month along with a whole array of other delightful things!! Get excited!! We hope you all enjoy our delicious pretzel treats this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.  If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza.  We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE


  1. Those look so golden brown and deliciously chewy! Yumm!

  2. You make me laugh out loud at your starter giving you dirty looks, Kelly! I imagine it does. :) Your sourdough pretzels look great! I vote on a stuffing of guava paste and cheese for next time.

    1. It really does - makes me feel guilty. Geez. Guava and cream cheese..I can taste it now.

  3. They're beautiful! And why in the world have I never thought to put some of my starter into pretzel dough? I've thought about trying to make the hard sourdough pretzels before, since they're my son's favorite - but YES, I'll be making soft ones now, too. Thanks!

    1. Oh! I should try hard ones next. I just need to leave the butter out and bake longer. That's now on my to do list.

  4. I still haven't tackled sourdough. I might be inspired with this post! Thanks for sharing.

    1. It's not too difficult. It just requires some patience.

  5. I don't know if the frozen caramel idea will work but I sure would like a bite of one if you try it!!

  6. I love sourdough bread. I can only imagine how great these pretzels are!