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These sourdough pretzel knots bake up golden brown with a soft, fluffy center and that signature chewy outer crust that we all know and love. A fan favorite warm from the oven. Don’t forget the mustard!
Hey, sports fans! Word has it that there’s a big day coming up that involves football and food. I may not be the biggest football enthusiast but I’ll never turn down a chance to serve up some delicious game day snacks. And by snacks, I mean anything that involves carbs and salt. These salted sourdough pretzel knots are made with two of my favorite things and they are lining up to be the real MVP of game day. They bake up golden brown with a soft, fluffy center and that signature chewy outer crust that will guarantee your party wins the day – even if your team doesn’t! Homemade pretzels are easier to make than you might think and they’re a real fan favorite served warm from the oven. If you’ve never made pretzels from scratch before, don’t sweat it. I’ll coach you through every step of the way. Let’s get right to it!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE SOURDOUGH PRETZEL KNOTS
These golden brown pretzel knots will steal the show on game day and they are made with just a handful of simple ingredients. Check this list for things you need to make perfect pretzels every time.
Flourish High Fiber All Purpose Flour. We might be near the end of January but I’m not giving up on my resolution to eat more fiber this year. More prebiotic fiber = better gut health. In the interest of doing a body good, I made these sourdough pretzels with Flourish’s high fiber all-purpose flour which has five times the fiber of traditional flour. Flourish is the first all purpose flour that is a natural source of prebiotic fiber which means it not only tastes delicious but it supports good digestive and immune health too. That’s something we can all feel good about. Flourish makes it easy to substitute their unbleached, high-fiber wheat flour as a direct replacement for traditional all-purpose flour cup-for-cup in your favorite recipes. Just bake and enjoy!
Sourdough starter. To make a proper sourdough pretzel you’ll need to use a sourdough starter. If you’ve never made a starter before, check out this link to get you started. I’ve also listed the recipe using traditional store bought yeast. Keep in mind the flavor and texture of the pretzels will be slighty different.
Butter. Gives the dough a rich flavor and adds moisture.
Salt. Gives the pretzels a delicious salty flavor and a little added crunch with every bite.
Sugar. Just a pinch helps to activate the yeast.
Water. Helps activate the starter and binds all of the ingredients together.
Baking soda. Added to boiling water to create a hot bath for the pretzels before baking. Don’t skip this step – it gives the pretzels that perfect chewy, shiny crust that is the hallmark of a good pretzel.
Egg. One egg and a tablespoon of water combine for a simple egg wash. This helps to give the pretzels their golden brown color and binds the salt to the top.
HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH PRETZEL KNOTS
While these sourdough pretzels do require a few extra steps to prepare, they are far easier to make than you might expect. And they are definitely worth the effort! To make these pretzels we’ll break the process down into four steps – prepare, shape, boil and bake. Pro-tip: read through the recipe from start to finish before beginning and be sure to allow enough time for the dough to rise before the big kick-off!
STEP 1: Prepare To make the dough we start by adding sugar and warm water to the sourdough starter followed by the butter and salt. Next we’ll slowly add in the Flourish Flour, mixing with a dough hook on a stand mixer on medium speed until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Once the dough is kneaded, we’ll transfer it to a large bowl and cover for about 4 hours to rise. The dough should double in size.
STEP 2: Shape To create perfect pretzel knots we simply roll bits of dough into long ropes and then tie them into a knot, tucking the two ends over and under. It’s as easy as tying your shoes – nothing fancy! And don’t worry if your pretzels don’t twist up perfectly on the first try. They’ll still be positively delicious. Just roll with it!
STEP 3: Boil A quick dip in a baking soda bath gives the pretzels that signature golden brown, chewy exterior we all know and love. Work quickly here, only boiling each pretzel for 30 seconds or less. Next we’ll brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle generously with sea salt.
STEP 4: Bake To bake the pretzels, place them in a hot oven for just 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Don’t forget the mustard – these pretzels are perfect for dunking!
TIPS FOR THE BEST PRETZELS
Lots can go wrong when you’re baking with yeasted dough but we’ve learned the hard way so you don’t have to. These homemade sourdough pretzel knots are game day worthy – just follow the tips and tricks below.
Weigh your ingredients. When baking bread of any kind, you’ll want to use precise measurements. Invest in an inexpensive digital kitchen scale for best results. Bread making is a bit of a science and accurate measurements make all the difference.
Use Flourish High Fiber All Purpose Flour. With all the snacking I’ll be doing on game day, it feels good to use a premium quality unbleached flour that offers all the nutritional goodness of whole wheat flour with the same great taste of all-purpose, plus 5x more fiber. Great taste AND nutrition? Sign me up!
Cover the dough to rise in a warm, draft free area. The dough will take some time to rise so plan ahead. It’s ready to go when it is almost doubled in size. Keep the dough in a warm, draft free place and cover it with a dishtowel.
Use oil on a clean, dry surface when shaping the pretzel knots. I like to roll the knots on a large wood cutting board covered in a neutral oil like safflower oil. In a pinch, a simple, unflavored olive oil will work.
Don’t forget the egg wash. To give the pretzels a nice golden brown, shiny finish, brush the tops pre-bake with one egg mixed with a tablespoon of water. The egg wash also helps to bind the salt to the tops of the pretzels. Work quickly so the egg wash does not dry before you sprinkle on the salt.
Do not over bake. No two ovens are alike so use the suggested baking time as a guide. If the pretzels are browning too quickly, cover them loosely with a large piece of aluminum foil at the end of the baking cycle. Do not over bake the pretzels as they will be dry in the center.
Serve warm from the oven. Try to convince me there is anything better than a warm, homemade pretzel dunked in spicy mustard. It’s a match made in heaven! No one will be counting touchdowns when these pretzels arrive fresh from the oven.
HOW TO STORE SOURDOUGH PRETZEL KNOTS
I can almost guarantee these pretzel knots will disappear long before the half time show even begins. If you happen to have a few left over, wrap them tightly in a brown paper bag (plastic creates too much moisture) and store them at room temperature for up to three days. Homemade pretzels are always best the day they are made but I won’t say no to a pretzel smothered with a little spicy mustard or sliced in half to make a veggie sandwich. Just reheat the pretzels in a warm 300 degree oven for 10-12 minutes and dress them up any way you like!
These sourdough pretzel knots are beyond good and they’re always a hit at parties and potlucks. If you make these pretzels, I’d love to hear all about it. And if you need a little extra coaching, leave me a comment below and I’m happy to help you troubleshoot.
Enjoy the game – and the pretzels!Print
Sourdough pretzel knots bake up golden brown with a soft, fluffy center and that signature chewy outer crust that we all know and love. A fan favorite warm from the oven. Don’t forget the mustard!
2 tsp active dry yeast / 1 packet instant yeast / OR 100 g lavain/sourdough starter for sourdough version
600 grams Flourish Flour High Fiber All-Purpose Flour
350 grams warm water (about 100 degrees, not tap)*
25 g granulated sugar
40 g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
12 g sea salt (not iodized)
olive oil for lining the bowl for rising
For Baking Soda Bath
8 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
For Egg Wash and Salt
1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
course salt / kosher Salt
Combine sugar, sourdough starter (or yeast) and warm water into bowl of stand mixer with dough hook
and begin cycling on low speed.
Add salt and warm butter (slightly cooled) and then slowly add flour.
Mix on medium speed until dough forms. It should begin to let go of the sides of bowl, wrapping around dough hook, but still attached to the bottom center of bowl. Sprinkle more flour in, a tablespoon at a time, as it mixes until in consistently pulls cleanly off the sides of the bowl.
Once combined turn mixer up to medium speed for 3-5min. to knead the dough.
Transfer dough to large bowl coating with olive oil. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let sit for an hour (or about 4 hours if using a sourdough starter) in a warm, draft free location. The dough should double in size.
Meanwhile cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking oil. Set aside.
In a large pot bring water and baking soda to a full boil.
Lightly rub oil onto a working surface and cut dough into 16 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope. Take rope and loop into a single knot. One end going through the center and the other end under and around to connect the pieces with a pinch.
Use a large spatula or basket spatula to gently place each knot into the baking soda bath (2 batches of 8) for 25-30 seconds. Remove promptly and transfer the pretzels to prepared baking sheets.
Brush knots gently with egg wash, using a soft pastry brush over top of pretzels. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt.
Bake at 425 F (230 C) for 18-20 min. or until golden brown. If pretzels are browning too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
*Because of the higher fiber content of Flourish Flour, you may need up to 1/4 more water to bind the dough together. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if it’s too dry.
Serve warm with mustard.
To reheat, warm in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes.
May be frozen.