- 1 ½ cups of warm water
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp of active dry yeast or 1 envelope
- ⅓ cup of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ tsp of salt
- 4 ½ to 5 cups of all purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- 12 cups of water
- ⅓ cup of baking soda
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of cold water
- Coarse sea salt
- ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tbsp of all purpose flour
- ½ cup of milk
- 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add water, sugar, yeast and butter. Stir on speed 1 to mix in the yeast.
- Let rest for 4-5 minutes.
- Add flour and salt to another bowl and mix to combine and set aside.
- Once the yeast has foamed, turn the mixer to speed 1 and start adding in the flour mixture ½ cup at a time. Once all the flour has been incorporated, increase to speed 2 and continue to mix for 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet and is not pulling away from the sides add 1 tsp of flour at a time.
- Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides, remove and knead into a smooth ball.
- Lightly oil a large bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat all sides with oil.
- Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, approx. 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Lightly spray a large baking sheet and set aside.
- In a large pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Carefully add the baking soda a little bit at a time because it will bubble and foam up.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, approx 22” long. Cut the dough into 1” pieces.
- In batches, boil the pretzels in the water solution for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon onto your prepared baking sheet. Make sure the bites are not touching each other. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season with coarse salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a baking rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
- While pretzels are cooling, prepare your cheese sauce.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted and smooth in consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with your pretzel bites.