Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce

We are planning a summer trip to Lake Powell and got together with friends to make plans on Sunday night. I've been wanting to try out a new pretzel recipe I found and this was the perfect excuse to do some baking.

We are suckers for a good pretzel.  Buttery, salty, chewy and soft, these little nuggets meet all the criteria.  The secret is the high cooking temperature, and the brush of butter after baking.  They turned out perfectly!  So delicious! 

For the Pretzels:

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
5 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt

Will also need:  
3 cups water       
1/3 cup baking soda         
coarse sea salt
1/4 c. melted butter 

Heat milk until very warm.  In a Kitchenaid or Bosch add the warm milk, yeast, and sugar.  Allow yeast to grow for about 10 minutes.  Add the flour and salt and knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth.  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place until double - about 45 minutes to an hour. 
Place water and baking soda in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Punch dough down and cut in to 6 equal pieces.  Roll each piece of dough in to a long snake shape and cut in bite-sized pieces.  Plunge small pieces of dough in the boiling water and immediately remove and place on greased or non stick baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt while the dough is sticky.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 6-8 minutes.  Immediately brush each pretzel bite with butter after they come out of the oven.  

For the Cheese Sauce:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tsp. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter, then whisk in four and cook for a minute or so.  Add the whole milk and simmer until thickened.  Stir in the hot sauce, cayenne and cheddar cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with warm pretzels.  Can refrigerate and re-heat.  Also good for fondue or on nachos.  

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