Editorial Photography · Food

Homemade Pretzels & Garlic Cheese Sauce

Two posts in one day! Told you I’ve been being productive. I was stumbling the internet late one night (with a nice stiff cocktail) and I probably should have just went to bed…but really, who wants to go to bed and miss out on finding jems like this online?? My whiskey filled belly practically lunged at the screen demanding these mouth watering pretzels. I knew better than to attempt anything right then and there. So I bookmarked it and hit the hay.

That brings us to today. Today I made them, and although they were a lot more labor intensive than I had bargained for, it was well worth it. These pretzels are absolutely delicious. Flaky and buttery. JUST like the good pretzels that everyone secretly loves from the mall and the food stands, but won’t admit it in public. Well, I’m not ashamed. And now I don’t have to go outside my house for them! Well, maybe afterwards to run off a few of those calories.

Here is the recipe, a few people were wanting it. I got it from another blogger who modified it from the Food Network. Yammie’s Noshery.

2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt

1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
Coarse salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted in a shallow dish

Warm up the milk in the microwave one and a half minutes. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast. You should be able to comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and the add the fine salt. Kneed for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450º. Separate dough into small chunks. Roll each chunk out as thin as you can. You are going to want to do this with your hands, not a rolling pin, and preferably straight on your (clean) kitchen counter. You can VERY lightly dust it with flour to start.  Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Form the dough into pretzel shapes, then dip in the baking soda water. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 7-11 minutes or until browned (mine baked for 9 mins). Dip each in the melted butter while hot.

I made my own cheese sauce based on recipes I have tried and modified in the past. I’ve found that making cheese sauces or cream based sauces usually encompass the same method, just different ingredients. The recipe is not doubled. However, I double mine because Chet always hogs the sauce. It is a preventive measure, I swear.

Garlic Cheese Sauce

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

3TB butter

3 TB Wondra (sauce/gravy thickener can be found in the baking section–blue cylindrical container)

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder or salt

1/4 tsp paprika

1 cup low fat milk (you can do whole milk if you want it a bit richer)

1 1/2 cups of freshly shredded sharp wisconsin cheddar

1/4 cup freshly shredded swiss cheese

In a saucepan, over medium-low heat, add your minced garlic and butter and cook until golden. Add in your milk slowly while stirring. Add your paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Once mixed, add your wondra, but slowly so that it doesn’t clump. Bring your mixture to a boil. Then let cook for roughly 3 mins, while stirring occasionally. It is important to stay near your pan while the mixture is heating. You want it to be hot enough to thicken, but it is easy to burn the bottom if you aren’t stirring and monitoring your heat. Once your mixture seems to have thickened to a gravy like viscosity, add your cheeses. Mix until the cheese has melted as is well incorporated. Keep on low heat if your pretzels are still baking. Otherwise, you can always reheat in the microwave. The cheese will develop a skin on top if it has cooled, just keep that in mind.

6 thoughts on “Homemade Pretzels & Garlic Cheese Sauce

  1. Great images. So good to see that you still find the energy and passion for this now that you are a seriously hard working young professional.

  2. I’m hosting an Oktoberfest themed cooking club meeting here next weekend…we’ll be stealing your recipe–I’ll let ya know if I can make them as beautifully as you do!

    1. That sounds like fun!! Good luck, they aren’t so bad to make, just a little labor intensive! Well worth it though! 😀 😀

  3. I like the light in the blue bowl of cheese in the first image. I recently had a pretzel at the mall with a plastic container of cold cheese. I wish I ate one of your pretzels & I could have watched the cheese from dish to pretzel to my mouth!

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