Sourdough Braided Parmesan Pretzel Bread

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer

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  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water*
  • 1 cup unfed sourdough starter, straight from the refrigerator
  • 3 cups Hi-Gluten Flour* or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) non-diastatic malt powder or 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • *Add an additional 2 tablespoons water if using high-gluten flour.
  • 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon oregano


  1. Mix and knead the dough ingredients in a stand mixer using a dough hook to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
  2. Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface (DO NOT ADD FLOUR!).
  4. Gently pat the dough into a rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon oregano over top.
  6. Fold the dough over into thirds (like you’re folding an envelope).
  7. Turn the dough 1 turn and pat down again and re-fold. You’re doing this just to help incorporate the cheese. You can do this one to two more times.
  8. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.
  9. Roll each piece of dough into long ropes (at least 24″ long).
  10. Put the 3 ropes about 2″ apart.
  11. Grab the center of the right rope and cross it over the middle rope, drop it in the center. The right rope is now your middle rope.
  12. Repeat those 2 steps(right rope to middle, left rope to middle) until you have braided your pretzel to the very end.
  13. Pinch the three ropes together at the end.
  14. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  15. Lightly spray with Pam.
  16. Gently pick up the braid and place one end onto the sheet, off-center. As you lay it down, form a wreath ensuring you have a good 4″ opening in the middle.
  17. Gently pinch the 2 ends together to form the wreath.
  18. Dissolve the malt in the water.
  19. Brush the braid with the solution, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan and oregano.
  20. Bake the pretzel for 20 minutes.
  21. Remove from the oven, and brush with melted butter.
  22. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown color.


If you want to add pepperoni slices, after you make the ropes, you will need to flatten them out, put the pepperoni pieces in the middle of the rope and then fold the edges over to seal completely. Re-roll to make a rope shape.

Or, after you braid it and form the wreath, you can tuck the pieces of pepperoni in between the braids.

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