This Soft Pretzel Recipe with cheese sauce proves the old adage; there is nothing better than homemade. These pretzels are soft and chewy, and they are perfect for dunking in the cheese dip! Best of all, they are easy to make. The dough takes a little time to rise, but with a little planning, you can have these ready for your family without much effort!
These soft pretzels with this tangy cheese dipping sauce are perfect for game day snacks, after-school snacks, or movie nights! If you are looking for some recipe like this, why not check out this outstanding munchies recipe, Joe Montana’s Touchdown Guacamole or this “Everything Bagel” Turkey Cheddar Crescent Rolls, perfect for any time snacking!
Ken loves making homemade bread and really enjoys making these soft pretzels for a weekend treat for us! Some get stowed away again for another day in the freezer while we enjoy some fresh out of the oven dunked in this amazing cheese sauce. I hope you enjoy making and eating these as much as we do.
HELPFUL ITEMS FOR THIS RECIPE
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What Goes Into this Soft Pretzel Recipe and Cheese Dipping Sauce?
For the pretzels themselves, you are going to need everything you would to bake bread. The cheese dip is super easy and can be made in 5 – 6 minutes with a few things from your pantry, a little bit of spice, and of course, cheese. You can whip the dip up just before serving so it is still warm….mmmmm!
Some recipes may ask for a pretzel salt, but any coarse salt will work great.
- Warm milk
- Kosher salt
- Brown sugar
- AP flour
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
What kind of beer to use, any beer that you may also enjoy drinking, for me it is lighter beer, but you can put in a red ale or stout, whichever you prefer.
- AP flour
- Whole milk
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Sweet paprika
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
How to make Soft Pretzels
To make the soft pretzels start by mixing the warm milk and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let this sit for 5 – 10 minutes until it becomes a little bubbly or frothy. Then whisk in the salt, brown sugar, and melted butter.
Gradually add the flour to the mixture about a cup at a time. Use a stand mixer with a dough hook. If you don’t have one, you can use a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes too thick, then use your hands. Add the flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Depending upon the humidity and where you live, you may need all 4 cups or more, but you may also need a little less.
Now turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes but up to 30 minutes. You don’t have to let the dough rise, but just rest.
While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray them lightly with cooking spray.
Next, prepare the baking soda water. In a large pot, add the baking soda to the water and bring to a boil. Make sure you add the baking soda before the water starts to boil, or it will boil over!
Forming The Soft Pretzels
To make the pretzels cut the dough into 10 equal pieces of dough and shape each one into a long rope about 18 inches in length. Shape the rope length into a pretzel. Press the ends down to make sure they are stuck.
Boiling The Pretzels
Why do I have to boil the dough? Boiling pretzel dough causes it to instantly expand or puff, which makes for a chewy exterior and starts to form a crust even before baking. Using a baking soda bath also helps to produce a deep golden coloring to the pretzels and that classic sort of cracked exterior.
Doing this bath before baking will also ensure the classic taste of a great pretzel. Don’t omit it or leave out the baking soda; both are critical for a pretzel.
Using a slotted spoon, dip each pretzel into the boiling baking soda water for about 30 seconds. Allow the water to drip off and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this for each pretzel. Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt to taste.
Baking The Soft Pretzels
Bake the pretzels in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes; they should be golden brown in color. While baking the pretzels, you can start to make the cheese sauce.
Making The Cheese Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour and stir. Gradually add the milk while whisking constantly. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the beer, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and paprika. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and mix in the grated cheese, stirring until melted. Serve the cheese dipping sauce hot and wait for the applause, as it is amazing with the freshly baked soft pretzels.
Our Beer Cheese Soup would also make for a great dipper for these pretzels.
How To Store Soft Pretzels
To store leftovers, it is best to wrap them individually with plastic wrap. Store them for up to 2 days at room temperature or freeze for up to a month. They are best reheated in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.
More Helpful Answers To Questions
Here are some typical questions that you may ask when making this recipe, along with some great answers to help you make the best soft pretzels and cheese sauce around!
- I don’t have yeast in a packet – how much yeast is in a packet? There are 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast in one packet.
- Is it really necessary to give the pretzels a baking soda bath? (I have this written in twice as it is important). This makes a huge difference in the texture (chewier) and taste (more pretzelly) of the pretzels. It is worth the extra time.
- Could I use white sugar instead of brown sugar? Yes, just substitute the same amount.
- I don’t have Dijon mustard – what could I substitute? You could substitute yellow mustard or mustard powder.
- Can I use pre-shredded cheese? The flavor and texture will be better if you shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has fillers added to keep it from clumping, and it does not melt as nicely.
- I prefer sweet pretzels – are they made the same way? Yes, when the pretzels come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar if you like.
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Soft Pretzel Recipe with Cheese Sauce
These soft pretzels with their cheesy dipping sauce taste amazing, it's like you just bought one at the country fair! There is a bit of work and planning that go into them but the payoff is well worth it seeing your family and friends' faces as they enjoy these.
- 1 ½ cups warm milk
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter, melted
- Up to 4 cups of flour (spoon in and then level)
- ⅓ cup baking soda
- 8 cups water
- ¼ cup coarse sea salt
Beer Cheese Dip:
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- ½ cup beer
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Optional garnish: more shredded cheese, or cayenne pepper if you’d like some heat
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the warm milk, and yeast. Allow this to sit for a few minutes. Then whisk in the salt, brown sugar, and melted butter.
- Gradually add flour to this mixture, 1 cup at a time. I use my standing mixer with my dough hook, but you could use a wooden spoon until the dough is too thick, then use your hands. (It will be a workout.) Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky (you may not need to use all 4 cups). Then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line 2 baking sheets with lightly sprayed parchment paper, and prepare the baking soda water.
- Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
- Cut dough into 10 equal pieces and shape each piece into 18-inch-long ropes. Shape the ropes into pretzels. Press the ends in to make sure they are stuck down.
- Use a slotted spoon to dip each pretzel in the baking soda water for about 30 seconds. Then allow the water to drip off of the pretzel and place it on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do this for each pretzel. Sprinkle with salt as desired.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. While these are baking you could make the dip.
- Make the dip by melting butter and flour together, gradually whisk in milk (stirring well to remove lumps). Once that is smooth, whisk in the beer, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and paprika. Allow this to bubble for 3 minutes. Then whisk in the cheese and serve hot.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 411Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 5455mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 16g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.
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