I'm a sucker for giant soft pretzels and it had been a really long time since I'd attempted making any, so we decided to make that our stadium food of choice. I found a nice looking recipe for Soft-Garlic Rosemary Prezels with White Cheddar Cheese Sauce from yumology on Tasty Kitchen to use as our foundation. In the end, we struck pretty true to it for the pretzels themselves and branched away primarily for the cheese sauce.
As it turns out, if you're on a timeline, I'd suggest having a pair of people working and to start the cheese sauce as soon as the first person starts rolling out the pretzels. It takes a fairly good while to get the rue bubbling and ready for the addition of the cheese.
Nonetheless, the results were excellent. The main modifications we made in the cheese sauce were to use medium yellow cheddar in place of the sharp white, 2% milk, and we omitted the cayenne. Most of these changes were simply made based on what was available to us. We chose to leave out the cayenne pepper because we wanted to stick with something pretty mild for today, since the game was destined to be spicy enough. ;)
Recipe - Garlic and Rosemary Soft Pretzels with Cheese Sauce
Adapted from yumology's adaptation from Cooking Light
- FOR PRETZELS:
- 2-¼ teaspoons Dry Yeast
- 1-½ teaspoon Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 3-¼ cups All Purpose Flour, divided use
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 clove Garlic (large), Minced
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, Finely Chopped
- ½ teaspoons Pepper
- 6 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 whole Egg
- Kosher Salt Or Sea Salt (for Topping)
- Cooking Spray
- FOR CHEESE SAUCE:
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
- 1 cup 2% Milk
- ¾ teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoons Pepper
- 1 cup grated Medium Cheddar Cheese
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Add 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Mix in garlic, pepper and rosemary.
3. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 425°.
5. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each part into an 18-inch-long rope with tapered ends. Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope. Twist the rope at the base of the circle. Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on a board or baking sheet. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).
6. Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer. Gently lower 1 pretzel into simmering water mixture; cook 15 seconds. Turn pretzel with a slotted spatula; cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to a prepared baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining pretzels. Combine olive oil and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth. Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle with kosher or sea salt.
7. Bake at 425° for 17 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For White Cheddar Cheese Sauce
1. In a small sauce pot, heat the butter on medium-low. When melted, whisk in the flour until combined. Add the milk and stir constantly until mixture thickens and begins to bubble slightly. Next, mix in salt and pepper.
2. Add the cheese and stir/whisk on medium heat until melted into the sauce. Cook for about 1 minute or until sauce begins to simmer gently. Remove from heat and serve.