sourdough pretzel rolls

ingredients and supplies


  • 2/3c + 3T warm water
  • 1T yeast
  • 1c sourdough starter (based on 1:1 water-to-flour ratio)
  • 4T olive oil
  • 2t sugar
  • 2t salt
  • 4c + 3T flour

poaching solution

  • 8c to 10c boiling water
  • 1/4c baking soda

glaze and topping

  • 1 egg white
  • 1T cold water
  • pretzel salt to taste


  • stand mixer
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • large wide pot for poaching
  • tongs
  • slotted spoon
  • brush
  • razor blade or sharp knife



  • in stand mixer:
    • combine water and yeast
    • let sit for 5 to 10 minutes
    • to the foam add:
      • sourdough starter
      • olive oil
      • sugar
      • salt
      • flour
    • mix until smooth, dough will likely be slightly dry
  • cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (1-2 hours typically)


  • line baking sheets with parchment paper
  • divide dough in 18 equal portions
  • form each portion into a tight ball by roughly shaping, then pulling dough down to the underside of the ball repeatedly
    • the dry surface should form a taught skin
    • make sure the bottom is crimped and sealed with no creases
  • cover and let rest ~30 minutes


  • while resting, boiling water for poaching solution, add to poaching pot
  • wait to add the baking soda until you’re ready to poach
  • before poaching, preheat the oven to 425F (this can take a while)
  • poach the rolls
    • put a few rolls (~4) into the solution, right-side up
    • poach bottoms for 30 seconds (this helps seal any remaining creases)
    • using tongs, flip each roll right-side down
    • poach tops for 30 seconds
    • using a slotted spoon, remove each roll and place back on baking sheet


  • prepare the glaze
    • mix egg white and cold water
  • brush glaze onto the rolls
    • apply liberally
    • coat the sides, too
  • slice a deep x into the top of each roll
  • sprinkle with pretzel salt to taste
  • place baking sheets in center of preheated oven
  • bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown
  • allow to cool


  • the instructions are meant to be followed sequentially
  • c: cup, T: tablespoon, t: teaspoon
  • block out a bit of time for this
  • this recipe is easily doubled, no adjustments necessary, just *2
  • be prepared to make a mess when poaching
  • they will be pretty ugly post-poaching
  • you can’t really slice too deep
  • the order matters - don’t slice and then glaze - the glaze will likely seal the top shut
  • start baking as soon as you slice