A super easy pretzel recipe to use up that sourdough discard. These Baked Sourdough Pretzels are a cinch to make and lean more toward a true soft pretzel with a crusty, crunchy exterior. So fun to make with the kids.

overhead shot of a sourdough pretzel on a blue plate with a white dish of mustard.

If you recently took on the task of raising your own sourdough starter then you may be looking for ways to use up that sourdough discard. I hate wasting food so I’m constantly coming up with ideas to transform that discard whenever I can.

These Sourdough Pretzels are my latest creation and they couldn’t be simpler to make. They’re tangy and salty and perfect with an interior that’s chewy like a soft pretzel but the outside is crunchy like a hard pretzel. A delightful contrast of textures and flavor that you won’t get in your typical soft pretzel recipe.

Living in the Northeast, we’re total pretzel snobs because we can grab a fresh Philly Soft Pretzel just about anywhere but there’s something so fun making your own at home. This easy pretzel recipe is super fun to make with the kids and you can make them just about any shape you want.

Baked sourdough pretzel being dipped in mustard.


The reason these pretzels are so simple to make is that we totally skip a step in the pretzel making process. Typically, pretzels are boiled in a solution of water and baking soda but we decided to go straight to the baking so the exterior gets extra crunchy.

That’s why these pretzels are lighter in color than other pretzels you may be used to but the flavor is outstanding, none the less.

And not all pretzels are made with sourdough so these are a bit more tangy than the flavor you may used to, as well.

Sourdough pretzels being made on a board.


This sourdough pretzel recipe is super easy to make. 

First, combine the water, sourdough starter, flour, milk, sugar, butter, salt, oil and instant yeast. Because you’re using sourdough starter that’s unfed, you still need a packet of instant yeast in order to make the dough rise. If you don’t, currently, have a sourdough starter….you can make one using this recipe. 

After the dough has come together, form a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It will not double in size but it will increase in size just a bit.

Once the dough has rested, turn it out onto a lightly greased work surface. We like to use butter because it adds to the flavor. Fold the dough a few times to deflate it and then divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.

Roll each dough piece into a long, thin rope and shape each rope into a pretzel. Place the pretzel on a baking sheet lined with parchment coated with cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.

Dissolve the remaining sugar in water and brush the tops of the pretzels with the sugar water. Sprinkle with pretzel salt.

Bake the pretzels in a 350˚F oven for 25-30 minutes. 

Remove the pretzels from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve!

This is an excellent way to use up extra sourdough starter and it’s a great after school snack for the kiddos!

Sourdough pretzels on a baking sheet.


Once your pretzels have cooled to room temperature, you can store them in a zip top bag or other airtight container for up to 5 days. Be sure they remain in a cool dry place because excess moisture will cause them to become soft and stale quickly.

Sourdough pretzels on a blue plate.


You don’t really need to freeze the finished pretzels but if you want to work ahead, you can certainly freeze to the dough. 

To do this, make the dough and shape into pretzels. Place on a baking sheet and freeze the pretzels. 

Once firm, remove the pretzels and place in a freezer bag. Store in the freezer until ready to bake. 

To bake, simply place the frozen pretzel on a baking sheet and brush with the sugar water. Sprinkle with the salt and bake for 30-45 minutes. No need to thaw them ahead of time.

overhead shot of sourdough pretzels on a white board.

If you want to bake up a loaf of just sourdough bread without much fuss, you’re in luck! This easy No Knead Sourdough Bread is already hugely popular and I just shared it last week. 

It’s so easy, in fact, I made the bread and the pretzels in the same day multiple times.

Looking for more baking recipes? This easy Brioche Bread is a reader favorite and pinned MILLIONS of times on Pinterest. Or you can make this Everything Bagel Brioche Bread which is similar but tastes like your favorite bagel.

We, also, love this easy White Bread recipe because it’s light, fluffy and super simple to make.

Sourdough bread on a cutting board with slices of bread.

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Get the Recipe: Easy Baked Sourdough Pretzels

Easy Sourdough Pretzels are a fantastic way to use up leftover sourdough discard. Super simple to make with crunchy, perfect results.
5 from 2 votes


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast


  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup pretzel salt or other coarse salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using your hands, mix the water, starter, flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and yeast together until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. The dough will be slightly sticky. If it seems too dry, work in an additional 1 tablespoon water until it becomes the correct consistency. This may take up to 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a wall oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well greased surface and fold a few times to deflate the dough. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope and shape into a pretzel. Place the pretzel on a baking sheet lined with parchment and coated with cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Stir together the remaining sugar and water. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the sugar water and sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
  • Bake the pretzels for 25-30 minutes.
  • Allow the pretzels to cool to room temperature before serving.


Pretzels can be shaped and frozen before baking. Store them in an airtight container until ready to bake. Follow instructions for baking and bake from frozen increasing the baking time to 35-45 minutes.
Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 3092mg, Potassium: 106mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 105IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 2mg