Today I’m sharing the easiest and tastiest recipe for GIANT Soft Pretzels. After seeing how simple and delicious these pretzels are, you may never stop at Auntie Anne’s again 😉
Oh, it has been QUITE a while since I last posted and so I thought, “why not make my return on pretzel day?” And here I am, sharing a delicious and easy recipe for Giant Soft Pretzels (and beer cheese)! Are you drooling yet or nah?
I got the inspiration to make these soft pretzels on my initial watch of The Office. Yes, my initial watch. I did not watch The Office when it was on. I did not binge it when it first came to Netflix. Nope. I watched The Office for the first time in 2018.
*insert shame bell here*
But let’s not dwell on the past and the fact that I could’ve had this show in my life earlier. No. Let’s look ahead to the future and the future is pretzels. Giant. Soft. Chewy. Salty. Pretzels.
These soft pretzels are so, so easy to make. All you need is an hour and 9 ingredients, most of which you already have in your pantry. You’ll also need a few key tools: a large stock-pot, a slotted spatula, baking sheets, and maybe a baking mat if you have one. That’s it. Really. You’ll need a few more ingredients for your beer cheese but you likely already have everything in your fridge and/or pantry for that, as well. See what I mean, you guys? EASY.
These soft pretzels are perfect for Pretzel Day or, you know, FOOTBALL SUNDAY. Like when the Bears play the Patriots this weekend, anyone?! Make ’em ahead and once they get to room temp, store them in the freezer in an airtight container for MAXIMUM FRESHNESS. When you’re about ready to serve, turn the oven to 350F and warm ’em up for 5-8 minutes, depending on size 😉
Easiest, Saltiest, Biggest Soft Pretzels
- For the pretzels:
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp salt (you'll want more for topping!)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (heat in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes)
- 1 pckg instant yeast
- 22 oz all-purpose flour (4.5 cups)
- Non-stick spray
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cups baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten + 1 tbsp water (for the egg wash)
- For the beer cheese:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup beer (lager works best)
- 8 oz shredded cheddar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- salt/pepper, to taste
- hot sauce to make it HOT (optional)
In a stand mixer, whisk together warm water, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Add the yeast to the top of the mixture but do not mix. Then, add all of the flour to your mixer. Using the dough hook, mix everything on low until the dough begins to pull from the bowl. Once that starts, turn the mixer to medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Finally, remove the dough from the mixing bowl, spray the mixing bowl with nonstick spray and return the dough to the bowl, making sure all sides of the dough have nonstick spray on them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 45-50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450F and line large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large pot, bring your 10 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add baking soda.
While you're waiting for your pot of water to boil, divide the dough into 8 equal large pieces (or smaller if you want smaller pretzels!). Roll each dough ball into a rope and then make your pretzel shape! Place the pretzels onto the parchment-lined baking sheets.
Once the water is boiling, boil 1-2 pretzels at a time for 30 seconds. Using a large slotted spoon or spatula, remove the pretzels from the pot and place back onto the baking sheets. Once all pretzels have been boiled, brush with your egg wash (egg yolk + water, whisked) + top with salt.
Place the baking sheets into the oven for 12-14 minutes or until they're a golden brown (smaller pretzels will need less time). Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. Top with more salt or whatever toppings you like ("The Works" if you're Michael Scott).
For the beer cheese: in a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until the mixture clumps together. Add the milk, beer, and the cheese, continuing to whisk. Lastly, add the salt, pepper, and optional hot sauce and whisk it all in. Pour into a bowl and serve with your pretzels!