I found this recipe for Soft Homemade Pretzels with Jalapeño Dipping Sauce via another blog (Smells Like Home) about a month ago and I finally got a chance to make it this week. I was originally going to make it as a Super Bowl snack, but then I realized I literally and figuratively had too much on my plate with my plan to make (and eat) Tex Mex Pimiento Cheese Dip, Mexican Black Bean Chili, Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese, and Raspberry Truffle Brownies. I was right- I didn’t even get a chance to try the chili on Super Bowl Sunday so the pretzels definitely would have been too much.
These soft pretzels were a huge hit in our house- T keeps asking for “prets” (his words for pretzels) and I noticed my husband swapped out his usual Greek yogurt for a pretzel this morning for breakfast. These pretzels are really good on just their own if you are running short on time and can’t make the jalapeño dipping sauce.
And speaking of the dipping sauce, I chopped up the cilantro while I was waiting for the pretzel dough to rise. Of course, I completely forgot to add it to the jalapeño dipping sauce before I took the photos. It’s delicious with or without it, but I would add it if you have it as it adds a bit more green and another flavor dimension to the dipping sauce.
- 1 and ½ cups warm water (yeast rises best between 110 to 115 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- 2 small jalapeño peppers
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (it's recommended to shred your own- pre-shredded cheese does not melt as well due to the added preservatives)
- cilantro, chopped
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Add the water, sugar, yeast, and salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to combine on low speed for 10-15 seconds. Remove the paddle attachment and put on the dough hook.Add the flour and 4 tablespoons melted butter to the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed and until the dough is smooth (3-4 minutes.) Remove the dough from the bowl and lightly oil the mixing bowl. Transfer the dough back and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow it to double in size. This should take about an hour.
- Place the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece so that it is approximately 20-24 inches long. Tie the rope into a pretzel shape. Continue this process with the remaining 7 pieces of dough. Meanwhile, be sure to place a damp towel on the dough pieces and the completed pretzels.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set baking sheets aside.
- In a sauté pan, bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil. Using a metal spatula, slotted spoon, or a mesh skimmer spoon, place the pretzels into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds (my pan allowed me to add three pretzels at a time, but use your judgement depending on the size of your pan.) After 30 seconds, remove the pretzels from the water and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with some of the 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the Kosher salt.
- Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Once you remove them the oven, lightly brush pretzels with the remaining melted butter. Best served warm, but they keep 3-4 days in a sealed container. If not serving immediately, microwave each individual pretzel for 30 seconds before serving.
- If you have a gas stove, use tongs to blacken all the sides of the two jalapeños (if you do not have a gas oven, place the jalapeños on a baking sheet and roast them under the broiler until all sides are blackened.) Place the roasted jalapeños in a small pan or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to cool for 10-15 minutes. Use a paper towel to scrap off the blackened skin and continue to de-seed and chop the two peppers. Set aside. (This step can be done while the pretzel dough is rising.
- On the stovetop, melt the two tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Add the chopped jalapeños and stir until coated with butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until the peppers are coated (approximately 30 seconds.) Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to stir the mixture until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the shredded cheese. Continue to stir until all of the cheese has melted. Mix in the cilantro and kosher salt to taste. Serve immediately or reheat the dipping sauce in the microwave for approximately 45 second.
Source: Slightly adapted from Smells Like Home