Homemade Soft Pretzels are easier to make than you might think! These are stuffed with cheddar cheese, and have that classic soft pretzel taste and chewy texture we all know and love. Top them with pretzel salt for an irresistible game day snack, or dip them in your favorite soup!
If you’ve never made soft pretzels, I’m here to tell you that they aren’t as complicated as you might think! Let’s walk through this recipe.
Stir up the pretzel dough:
The dough requires basic ingredients –
- Brown Sugar
Melt the butter in your large mixing bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until a shaggy dough forms, pictured below.
Knead the dough on a floured counter for 3 minutes – it will smooth out (pictured below). Lightly spray the bowl with nonstick spray, and pop the ball of dough back in it to rise for 1 hour.
Here’s the dough once it’s risen!
Shaping and stuffing soft pretzels:
To shape the pretzels, dump the dough out and gently flatten it a bit. Slice it into quarters, and slice each quarter into 3 sections. You’ll have 12 pieces. Roll each one out into a rope about 16 inches long. Flatten it with your hands, and add your favorite type of cheese. Pinch the edges of the dough back together, encasing the cheese in the rope of dough. This process is pictured below.
Twist the ends over each other to form the classic pretzel shape, and you’re in business!
Baking soda bath:
The baking soda bath is what gives pretzels their signature texture – crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside. I think it also helps add that distinctive pretzel taste (but don’t worry – it won’t taste like baking soda!).
To make the baking soda solution, add your baking soda to a large dutch oven or pot of water and bring to a boil. Drop the pretzels in, 2 at a time, and only let them sit in the solution for 20-30 seconds. If they go longer, they may start to pick up a bit of that aluminum baking soda taste.
Place the pretzels on a lined baking sheet, and brush with beaten egg (egg wash). Sprinkle with pretzel salt, and they’re ready for the oven! Bake these for 12 minutes.
The pretzels will be a deep shade of golden brown, and you may even see some delicious cheese oozing out.
Serving soft pretzels:
Brush with a little melted butter once they’re out of the oven, and serve immediately! This is one of those things that needs to be enjoyed straight out of the oven – they’re just not as good on the second day. So, tear into them right away, dunk them in a bowl of soup (may I recommend our favorite Chicken Wild Rice Soup), or even more cheese (hey I’m from Wisconsin, what’d you expect hah!).
Happy baking, and happy pretzel-ing!
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Be sure to follow bluebowlrecipes on instagram and tag @bluebowlrecipes with your photo – I’d love to see what you make! And, be sure to leave a comment + rating below if you make this recipe.
Homemade Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Soft Pretzels
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm milk
- 3 and 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
For the Baking Soda Solution
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 9 cups water
- 1 large egg (for egg wash)
- coarse salt
- Make the Dough: Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave. Add the milk to a 2-cup glass measuring cup and warm in the microwave for about 1 minute. It should be warm but not super hot. Add the milk to the butter, and whisk in the yeast, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the flour last. You'll have a shaggy dough. Flour your counter, and dump the dough out. Knead the dough for 3 minutes. It will smooth out during this time. Shape it into a ball (doesn't need to be perfect!). Give the mixing bowl a light spray of nonstick spray (no need to clean it out first) and place the dough back into the mixing bowl to rise for 1 hour. Make sure to cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel while it rises.
- Prep for baking: Preheat your oven to 450° F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Beat the egg in a small bowl (this will be your egg wash). Add your baking soda and water to a large pot or dutch oven and whisk together. Bring this to a boil while you shape the pretzels.
- Fill and Shape the Pretzels: Once the dough has risen and about doubled in size, dump it onto the counter (don't use flour this time) and gently press down into an oval that's about 9 inches across. Slice this into quarters, and then slice each one of those into thirds, giving you 12 small triangles of dough total. (Each should be between 80-90 grams). Keep the other triangles covered with the kitchen towel while you work, and begin with one - rolling it out on the counter with both hands, like a rope. Roll it to 16-18 inches long. Flatten this rope with your hands, and sprinkle cheddar cheese along the length of it (no need to measure, just use as much as you can get tucked inside the pretzel). Pinch the edges back up and around the cheese, encasing the cheese in the dough rope. Then, pick up the ends and twist them over each other and bring them down to form the pretzel shape. Repeat with 3 more dough ropes, for a total of 4 pretzels.
- Baking Soda Bath: Drop the filled and shaped pretzels, two at a time, into the boiling baking soda bath. Leave them in for 20-30 seconds, then remove promptly with a slotted spoon, leaving behind excess liquid, and place them on a prepared baking sheet. If you leave them in longer, they may pick up some of the baking soda taste.
- Bake: Brush this batch of pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 12 minutes. They will be a deep golden brown when done. While this batch bakes, repeat with the next batch of four pretzels, and then repeat one final time with the last 4 pretzels.
- Serve + Store: Brush the pretzels with melted butter when they're fresh out of the oven, and enjoy immediately! These are absolutely best while they're fresh from the oven, although they can be gently reheated as the day goes on. However, once the first day passes they will not be as good. This is a food that was truly intended to be eaten on the first day.
Order my new book: