4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups water lukewarm

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons salt

.25 oz fast-acting dry yeast 2.25 tsp

4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

coarse salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Water Bath

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

Egg Wash

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon water

Cheese Sauce

8 oz cheddar cheese grated

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

salt and black pepper to taste


How to Make the Pretzel Dough

Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk to dissolve the yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

Add the flour, salt, and butter. Mix thoroughly until a dough forms. Knead on low using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes. You can knead the dough by hand with a wooden spoon for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

How to Make the Cheese Sauce

While the dough is proofing, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Wisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cheese. Stir until smooth, add salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Shape the Soft Pretzels

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other twice and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the prepared baking sheets.

Baking Soda Bath

Combine the water and baking soda in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Gently lower the pretzels into the boiling water, 2 at a time, for 10 seconds on each side.

Bake the Pretzels

Place the boiled pretzels back on the baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake until dark golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the cheese sauce.

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