Soft pretzels are a snack found at all sporting events, movie theaters and even your freezer. The crispy outside and soft inside makes this a classic American snack. 

Makes: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep: 60 minutes
Bake: 12-14 minutes

1 1/2 cups Warm Water, 110-115 degrees
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Butter, melted
8 cups Water
2/3 cup Baking Soda
1 Egg, beaten
2 tbsp Water
1 tbsp Sea Salt or Pretzel Salt

Nacho Cheese:
8 oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Flour
2 cups Milk 
3 Jalapeños, finely chopped
1/8 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large mixing bowl add in the warm water, sugar, salt and active dry yeast, do not stir. Allow for mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Then add in the flour and butter, mix on low speed with a dough hook for a minute or two to combine all of the ingredients. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and allow for the dough to knead for 4 minutes. 

Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place into a pre greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area for 60 minutes to allow for the dough to double in size. (I like to turn my oven on to the lowest temperature and place the dough next to the warm oven.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. After the dough has risen place out onto a pre greased surface and cut into 8 equal parts. Shape the dough into pretzel shapes by rolling out the dough into a 20 inch rope, form an upside down “U”, bring the ends together and twist them. Then bring the ends to the top of the pretzel, repeat the process with the other pretzel dough. 

In a large pot add in the water and baking soda and bring to a boil. Drop the formed pretzel into the water/baking soda mixture, one at a time, and boil for 30 seconds. Take the pretzel out with a spatula and place on a baking sheet lined with pre greased parchment paper, repeat the process for the remaining pretzels. (This is an important step as this will help give that texture on the outside while keeping the pretzel soft in the middle; it also gives it that signature flavor.)

Mix together water and egg then spread over the top of the pretzels evenly and sprinkle sea salt or pretzel salt over top. Place the pretzels into a preheat oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown. 

While the pretzels are baking turn the stove top to a medium heat and place a large sauce pan over top. Add in the butter and flour into the pan and whisk to combine; cook for 1 minute. Slowly add in the milk and whisk vigorously. Add in the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and jalapenos. season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Enjoy your warm pretzels out of the oven with your nacho cheese!

*Other flavor combinations:
Cinnamon Sugar with White Frosting
Parmesan Cheese with Marinara
Italian Seasoning with Marinara
Garlic Seasoning with Marinara
Salt and Butter with Nacho or Cheddar Cheese

Soft pretzels