Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups water  
  • 3 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast 
  • ½ cup mature sourdough starter 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Melted butter for brushing 
  • Flakey salt for topping 

For The Lye Bath: 

  • 1 tablespoon food-grade lye (sodium hydroxide) 
  • 4 ½ cups water 

Instructions: 

  1. In a large bowl mix whisk together water, yeast, brown sugar, and sourdough starter until dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap at room temperature and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.  
  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mix by hand, then knead that for five minutes or until relatively smooth. Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until double the size. Alternatively, you can place the bowl in the Wolf Convection Steam Oven on Proof Mode at its lowest setting. 
  1. In a large metal or glass bowl, make the lye bath. Add the water to the bowl and whisk in the lye until dissolved. (Use rubber or latex food-safe gloves and be careful not to splash any lye on yourself). Reserve in a safe place where it won’t accidentally spill. 
  2. Punch down the dough to release the gas and turn the dough onto an unfloured work surface. Divide the dough into 12 to 14 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place them on a baking sheet, cover them with either plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let them rest for 10 minutes.  
  3. Using both your hands, roll each ball out into a very long rod. Take care to roll each rod as evenly from end to end. Once it is about 13 to 14 inches long, use a bench scraper to cut each rod on a bias into 1 ½” -2” pieces.  
  4. Put on rubber or latex food-safe gloves. Using a slotted spoon or a metal spider strainer, gently dip the pretzels bites into the lye bath, let it soak for a few seconds, and carefully transfer it onto a lined baking sheet lined with a Silpat. Parchment paper sprayed very gently with nonstick spray works as well. Generously sprinkle flaky salt. Sesame seeds are a great topping, as is a savory spice rub. 
  5. Set the Wolf Convection Steam Oven to Convection Steam at 445°.  Bake for 10 minutes, brush some melted unsalted butter and let it rest until warm.