Home » Appetizer Recipes » Homemade Soft Pretzels (with Cheese Sauce)

Homemade Soft Pretzels (with Cheese Sauce)

Soft and chewy on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside, these Homemade Soft Pretzels are a fun snack that bake up in the oven and served with a delicious cheese sauce!

A HOMEMADE PRETZEL RECIPE

You know when you go to the fair or the mall and they serve those giant soft pretzels? I’m the person that makes a beeline straight for them! Well how about making them at home with my recipe for Homemade Soft Pretzels? And as an extra bonus I show you how to make my favorite Cheese Sauce as well! The salt and butter on top of the pretzels really give it that signature taste that. These are easier than you think, I will show you step-by-step below on how to make the best Homemade Soft Pretzel recipe ever!

Overhead of Homemade Soft Pretzels layered in parchment lined tray.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Do these need to be boiled before baking?

This particular recipe does not require you to boil the pretzels. We do bathe them in a baking soda and water bath before baking though so they do get that signature texture and flavor.

Why do they need the baking soda bath?

This is what helps them get their signature color, texture and flavor. You do not want to skip this step.

What is pretzel salt?

You will usually see it called pretzel salt in stores but it is also called coarse food-grade salt. It is a large grain salt that it used for a variety of things but most notably pretzels. If you cannot find it you can substitute it with coarse salt.

How warm should my liquid be for the yeast?

You want your beer or water to be warm but not too warm because if it is too warm it will kill the yeast but if its not warm enough it will not activate it. You want it to be anywhere between 100-110 degrees F. You can check this with a kitchen thermometer to be sure.

Can I use another cheese for the cheese sauce?

White the signature cheese sauce is amazing and we love the sharp cheddar for you can use another cheese if you want to flavor it differently. Gruyere, Gouda and Asiago all work well.

Can these be made smaller?

Yes, these can be made into 12 smaller pretzels if you’d like. The cooking times will vary on this.

How do I store leftovers?

These can be stored in an airtight container where they will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. These can also be frozen. Place cooled pretzels in a freezer bag or container and they will keep for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove to countertop overnight. Rewarm in the microwave or on the lowest setting in the oven until heated through.

Pinterest image of hand holding up one of the Homemade Soft Pretzels.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • warm beer (or warm water)
  • active dry yeast
  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • kosher salt
  • hot water
  • baking soda
  • unsalted butter
  • pretzel salt
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • whole milk
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Ingredients needed: warm beer, or warm water, active dry yeast, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, kosher salt, hot tap water, baking soda, unsalted butter, pretzel salt, garlic powder, onion powder, whole milk and sharp cheddar cheese.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS (WITH CHEESE SAUCE):

Preheat the oven to 450°F, even though we are resting the dough, go ahead and heat the oven so it is hot and ready when we go to bake. In the body of a stand mixer or in a large bowl add the warm beer or water, sprinkle the yeast on top, and stir it a few times with a spoon. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble and become foamy. If the mixture does not bubble or become foamy, your yeast is bad, and you need to try again with fresh yeast.

Beer and yeast in bowl of stand mixer.

Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl.

Flour, sugar and salt added to the bowl of the stand mixer.

If using a stand mixer, using the hook attachment and stir the mixture slowly, once a dough starts to form, scrape down the sides and turn the speed on medium-high and start to knead the dough for 2 minutes. The dough will clean the sides of the bowl but the bottom may still stick which is okay. If the sides do not clean, add 1 tablespoon more of flour at a time until it does. Same if not using a stand mixer, stir the ingredients with a spoon until a dough starts to form. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl for 5 minutes until a smooth dough forms, the dough may be a little sticky and that’s okay.

Dough formed in bowl of stand mixer.

Lightly spray a medium-sized bowl with cooking spray and add the dough to the bowl and roll it around so it’s coated in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Dough ball in greased bowl waiting to rest.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the water and baking soda until the baking soda has dissolved, if it all doesn’t dissolve that is okay, set aside. Cover two large sheet trays with parchment paper set aside. 

Baking soda and water whisked together in bowl.

Place the dough on a clean work surface and divide it into 6 sections.

Dough separated into 6 portions.

You may need to very very lightly flour your work surface if the dough starts to stick, but roll out one section at a time into a long rope about 30 inches long. 

Dough rolled into a long rope.

Make a U shape with the bottom of the U facing you. 

Dough shaped into a U shape.

Criss-cross the rope twice and fold it over itself to make a pretzel shape, secure the ends of the pretzels by pressing the ends into the bottom of the U shape so it sticks together.

Dough shaped into a pretzel.

Very gently place the pretzel into the baking soda water, it will not completely keep its shape, don’t worry.

Pretzels placed in baking soda water.

Place the pretzel onto the lined baking sheet and maneuver the pretzel into whatever shape you want. Repeat with the remaining dough, place the pretzels about 2 inches apart on the sheet tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes until dark golden brown.

Unbaked pretzels on parchment lined baking sheet.

Immediately brush with the butter.

Finished pretzels being brushed with butter.

Then sprinkle with pretzel salt.

Finished pretzels being sprinkled with pretzel salt.

To make your sauce in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and whisk into combined. Cook for 30 seconds.

Butter, flour and spices whisked together in sauce pan.

Whisking constantly, very slowly add the milk so no lumps form. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, once it starts to very slightly bubble and thickens, take it off the heat. 

Milk added to the butter mixture in sauce pan.

Stir in the cheese until melted, use immediately. 

Cheese whisked into sauce pan until melted.

Serve pretzels warm with cheese sauce.

Overhead of three Homemade Soft Pretzels layered in parchment lined tray.

Enjoy!

Hand dipping part of Homemade Soft Pretzels into cheese sauce.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?

Close up square image of one of the Homemade Soft Pretzels.

Homemade Soft Pretzels (with Cheese Sauce)

Soft and chewy on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside, these Homemade Soft Pretzels are a fun snack that bake up in the oven and served with a delicious cheese sauce!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time:: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces warm beer or warm water (100-110°F)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups hot tap water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 Tablespoon pretzel salt (or to taste)

Cheddar Cheese Sauce:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F, even though we are resting the dough, go ahead and heat the oven so it is hot and ready when we go to bake.
  • In the body of a stand mixer or in a large bowl add 12 ounces warm beer sprinkle 1 packet active dry yeast on top, and stir it a few times with a spoon. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble and become foamy. If the mixture does not bubble or become foamy, your yeast is bad, and you need to try again with fresh yeast.
  • Add 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl.
  • If using a stand mixer, using the hook attachment and stir the mixture slowly, once a dough starts to form, scrape down the sides and turn the speed on medium-high and start to knead the dough for 2 minutes.
  • The dough will "clean" the sides of the bowl but the bottom may still stick which is okay. If the sides do not "clean", add 1 tablespoon more of flour at a time until it does. Same if not using a stand mixer, stir the ingredients with a spoon until a dough starts to form. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl for 5 minutes until a smooth dough forms, the dough may be a little sticky and that’s okay.
  • Lightly spray a medium-sized bowl with cooking spray and add the dough to the bowl and roll it around so it’s coated in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • In a large shallow bowl, whisk together 3 cups hot tap water and ½ cup baking soda until the baking soda has dissolved, if it all doesn’t dissolve that is okay, set aside. Cover two large sheet trays with parchment paper set aside.
  • Place the dough on a clean work surface and divide it into 6 sections.
  • You may need to very very lightly flour your work surface if the dough starts to stick, but roll out one section at a time into a long rope about 30 inches long.
  • Make a U shape with the bottom of the U facing you.
  • Criss-cross the rope twice and fold it over itself to make a pretzel shape, secure the ends of the pretzels by pressing the ends into the bottom of the U shape so it sticks together.
  • Very gently place the pretzel into the baking soda water, it will not completely keep its shape, don’t worry.
  • Place the pretzel onto the lined baking sheet and maneuver the pretzel into whatever shape you want. Repeat with the remaining dough, place the pretzels about 2 inches apart on the sheet tray.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until dark golden brown.
  • Immediately brush with 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter, very soft. Then sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon pretzel salt.
  • To make cheese sauce in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter. Add 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder and pinch of kosher salt and whisk into combined. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Whisking constantly, very slowly add 2 cups whole milk so no lumps form. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, once it starts to very slightly bubble and thickens, take it off the heat.
  • Stir in 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese until melted, use immediately.

Notes

  • These can be made into 12 smaller pretzels, cooking time will vary.
  • The cheese sauce is optional but highly recommended.
  • These can be frozen, see my tips above.
  • If you cannot find pretzel salt, substitute with coarse salt.
  • Do not skip the water bath if helps with the authentic flavor and texture.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 4515mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating