Halloween Sourdough Pretzel Bones

These sourdough pretzel bones are chewy on outside and soft on the inside. They will be a huge hit at any Halloween gathering. They are also great as a little treat for a kid’s lunchbox. 

Who doesn’t love a good soft pretzel? I know when I was younger I always wanted to have them after school as I was pretty much obsessed with them.

I remembered thinking that they would be hard to make with that really chewy exterior. Was I surprised to find that all you needed was a little baking soda in some water. Also the ends of the pretzels are PERFECT for dipping into your favorite beer cheese. 

Baking Soda?

I am sure you have read all over the internet that it is good to have fresh baking powder and baking soda for all of your recipes. These should be replaced annually. However I am sure you have wondered how to get rid of all of that baking soda since every recipe uses about a tsp and that is about it. 

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This is one of those recipes I make towards the end of the year to help get rid of it. This recipe uses a whopping 1/2 cup of baking soda for the water bath.

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Baking soda is what will give your pretzels that trademark chewiness. It is important to only let the pretzels swim for about 30 seconds. Any longer and they will start to taste metallic. I use a stopwatch for this to mark when I drop them in. Also working with 2-3 pretzels at a time will help with time management. 

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This recipe also uses milk instead of just water. In this case it will make the inside of the pretzel softer. However there is an additional benefit is that they will last longer too. 

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These sourdough pretzels have always been a hit with friends and family and are equally as perfect for a game night or your Halloween get together. 

Pretzel bones served in a basket
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Halloween Sourdough Discard Pretzel Bones

Sourdough soft pretzels shaped like bones that will be a hit at any Halloween gathering.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 24 pretzels
Calories 86 kcal


  • 3 quart pot
  • Baking sheets
  • Sharp knife
  • Spiral/spider skimmer
  • Silicon mats
  • Stand mixer with dough hook attachment



  • ½ cup sourdough starter discard
  • cups flour
  • tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp brown sugar packed
  • ¾ cup milk whole
  • ½ cup water

Water bath

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 9 cups water


  • ½ tbsp coarse sea salt


  • Heat the water and milk to 105-115°F or 40-46C.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add the water and milk mixture, the sugars, and yeast and stir. Wait 5 minutes or until the yeast starts foaming.
  • Add half the flour and all of the starter to the bowl and mix on medium low speed until all is combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides. This dough will be slightly sticky however if it is still really sticky add flour a quarter cup at a time until the dough barely sticks to your hands.
  • Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and when you touch it the dough springs back.
  • Place in a bowl and cover for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F or Gas Mark 6
  • While the dough is resting heat up the water and baking soda until it starts to form a rolling boil and reduce the heat to keep it boiling however not very hard.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and slice into 8 equal portions. Place all but one portion back into the bowl and cover to keep from drying out.
  • Working one portion at a time roll into a long rope at least 24 inches and slice the rope into thirds. Twist each end into a knot and set on a silicon mat. Repeat with all eight portions.
  • Take your baking sheets near the stove. Working no more than 2-3 at a time drop the pretzels into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Using the skimmer remove from the water and shake a couple of times to remove excess water. Place them back on the mat and sprinkle the salt on the pretzels. Repeat until complete.
  • Bake for 12-15 min or until golden brown.


Serving: 1pretzelCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 935mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Halloween, Pretzel, Sourdough
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