Soft Pretzels with Spicy Cheese Sauce

Soft Pretzels with Spicy Cheese Sauce // The Merrythought
Oh these pretzels. I’ve had many requests to post this recipe, and finally, here it is! The first time I made these were for Marla’s “Cravings” Gender Reveal Party. I think it was love at first bite for all of us. I’ve made them many times since then…I think I get the most requests from Marla and Caitlin!
Soft Pretzels with Spicy Cheese Sauce
While these do take a bit of time to make (mostly wait time though, while the dough rises), they are so worth every minute put into them!  They’re soft, chewy and pretty much just perfect.
Soft Pretzels with Spicy Cheese Sauce

SOFT PRETZELS

Dough:

1 cup water, at approximately 110 degrees
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 (7g or 2 1/4 tsp) package rapid-rise yeast

Approximately 1 Tbsp olive oil – for the bowl

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients for the dough. Make sure you are using rapid rise yeast, or you will need to proof your yeast before mixing. Mix on low speed until combined and then knead about 5-7 minutes on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Prepare a separate bowl by coating with olive oil, transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about one hour or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down, recover and let rise approximately 30 minutes more.

Baking Soda Solution:

Approximately 6 cups water
3 Tbsp baking soda
Salt for sprinkling on pretzels

In a large low pan (a 12″ skillet with deep sides or a small dutch oven will work perfectly) bring water and baking soda to a boil over medium high heat. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Separate dough into 12 approximately 2 ounce pieces. Roll each piece into a long string, about 20 inches in length. Fold pretzels into shape, twisting the ends over each other and pressing lightly to seal dough into shape. Transfer pretzels, a few at a time to boiling water, cook 30 seconds on each side, turning with a slotted spoon, drain and transfer to prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with coarse salt and repeat until all the pretzels have been boiled. They don’t need much room on the baking sheet as they won’t spread much in the oven. Bake approximately 12-14 minutes until dark golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and serve.

Spicy Cheese Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
1 hot pepper, finely minced
1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
½ tsp Adobo seasoning (or seasoned salt)

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine, cooking about one minute until smooth. Add milk, whisking to incorporate. Add garlic and hot pepper. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. The sauce should begin to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add cayenne pepper, salt & pepper and Adobo seasoning to taste.

Source: slightly adapted from Homemade by Holman

 

Go make these – stat!  Happy baking & enjoy!  Manda

 

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