My vegan Sourdough Pretzels are fluffy and light as a cloud. You won’t be able to stop eating them, which is one good reason to make these asap.
Pretzels may or may not make you thirsty, but the idea of a twisted, chubby, salty cloud of dough baked to golden perfection is enough to make just about anyone hungry.
My sourdough starter, George, has been begging to go into something delicious for a while now, and I thought I’d make my vegan Sourdough Pretzels for Jay, who loves them, and also update this recipe, which I first shared on this blog almost exactly six years ago.
I adapted this recipe all those years ago from the King Arthur Flour website, and it is a simple and very effective one, which is why I’ve stuck with it. I did need to veganize it because the original contained milk powder, but these vegan pretzels turn out so gorgeous, you can be sure that nothing is lost in translation. They are soft and fluffy and super-delicious, and if you have a kid — or are a kid at heart — you will find that they disappear in minutes.
If you don’t already have a sourdough starter, what’s stopping you? This is a perfect time to make one, when the warm weather is still sticking around. Sourdough relies on capturing natural yeast from the environment, and a Fall kitchen is likely to have a good deal of yeast floating around, especially if you do a lot of baking. I love the very thought of capturing wild yeast from the air– it makes me feel like one of those superwomen from old times who did everything from scratch. Plus, I get to eat these pretzels and lots of other good stuff, like sourdough waffles, sourdough focaccia, sourdough sandwich bread, and much more.
If you have an aversion to fermented foods (Desi does), this sourdough pretzel (and most sourdough breads) does not have a sour flavor. Instead, the sourdough adds dimension and flavor and a wonderful texture to breads, not to mention good health, because you do know sourdough is probiotic and therefore really, really good for you?
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter (recipe link in notes below)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast mixed with 1/4 cup of warm almond milk or any nondairy milk. Allow them to sit for five minutes until the yeast blooms.
- 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- Sea salt or pink salt for sprinkling
Place all the pretzel ingredients in a bowl and, using your hand or a stand mixer, mix well. Knead the dough until it has a smooth consistency and can be formed into a round ball. It should not be too stiff-- if that's the case, add a little water, a tiny bit at a time.
Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning over once to coat, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place for about 45 minutes. The dough will rise a little.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the dough on a lightly greased surface and fold a few times to deflate the air. Divide into 12 equal parts.
Take one part and cover the rest with a kitchen towel to keep them from drying. Roll the dough into a ball and then into a rope, tapering the ends. You want a rope around 18 inches in length.
Take the ends of the rope and criss-cross them to make a loop. Twist one more time, then bring the ends back over the top of the pretzel and tuck them in.
Place the pretzels, about 2 inches apart, on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Make the glaze by dissolving the sugar in water. Brush the tops of the pretzels with this mixture and then sprinkle on some salt. I used fine-grained Himalayan sea salt because I didn't want big particles of salt on my pretzels, but use coarse salt if you wish.
Bake the pretzels for 27 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden-brown.
More delicious vegan sourdough recipes from the archives:
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