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Baked Soft Pretzels with Cheddar Sauce

The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.

Welcome to my yoga class. Our first pose will be the pretzel!

Look, I am no baker, but these 5-ingredient pretzels are so simple, they’ll make anyone look like a professional! 

One great thing about this recipe is that there is no rise time required, meaning you can have fresh-baked soft pretzels in a matter of 30 minute, which will leave you time for other household activities during those busy week nights. That’s almost unheard of in the baking world.

Baked Soft Pretzel with Cheddar sauce

You can get creative and toss cinnamon and sugar in the dough for a sweet treat, or even add minced jalapeño for a spicy snack. The dough is the just beginning, so have fun and experiment. These are best enjoyed right out of the oven, but can be kept for up to four days and made soft again by a quick trip to the microwave.

Every soft pretzel needs a dip, so I won’t leave you hanging! I paired these softies with a creamy cheddar sauce that’s spiced with Heinen’s mango habanero seasoning. It starts with a basic roux of milk and flour, which makes for a creamy sauce that won’t separate. Use whatever cheese you like, but Heinen’s mild cheddar is hard to beat.

Baked Soft Pretzel with Cheddar sauce

Slap on that apron, it’s baking time!

Baked Soft Pretzel with Cheddar sauce
Baked Soft Pretzels with Cheddar Sauce
Cook time:
Prep time:
Total time:

10 pretzels


For the Soft Pretzels

  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Heinen's unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. Heinen's brown sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • Salt, for topping
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

For the Cheddar Sauce

  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup Heinen's mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. Heinen’s mango habanero seasoning


  1. Mix the yeast and warm water together  and allow it to set for 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter, sugar and salt. Add a cup of flour at a time and mix continuously. This can be done by hand or with a mixer.
  2. If the dough is sticky, add more flour until the dough bounces back when poked. Transfer the dough to a cutting board and knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover it for a few minutes.
  3. Add the baking soda and water to a pot. Bring to a boil. The baking soda with help create that chewy texture we all love in a soft pretzel.
  4. While the water is boiling, remove the dough and cut it into 1/3-cup portions, if using a scale, aim for 67-73 grams. Roll each dough portion into a long string, about 20 inches and form the pretzel shape.
  5. Place the pretzels in the water for 20 seconds, then remove. Allow them to dry, then bake for 13 minutes at 400° F. They are finished when they are golden brown. If you don’t have baking soda, brush the pretzels with egg wash before baking, there is no need to brush them if you use the baking soda. You can also preboil the pretzels then keep them in the refrigerator until its time to bake.
  6. When the pretzels are in the oven, start the sauce. Warm a saucepan over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of milk and the flour. Whisk, then add the remaining milk and whisk until it boils. Remove from the heat, add the cheese and seasoning.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Baked Soft Pretzel with Cheddar sauce

Graham and Carl Russell
By Graham Russell
Graham Russell is half of the outdoor cooking duo behind CookingWithCarrrl. A true pairing of Beauty (Carl) & the Beast (Graham) – CookingWithCarrrl combines humor with easy-to-follow charcoal grilled/smoked recipes that the family will be sure to devour. Cooking with charcoal can be intimidating, but we are here to show you any dog can learn a new trick. Graham currently resides in Northeast, Ohio with his wife, two daughters, and dog, Carl.

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