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Hot Pretzel Nuggets with Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time3 hrs 12 mins
Course: Mary Ann Dwyer


  • 1 cup warm water 100 - 110 degrees
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast one packet
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar packed
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter softened
  • vegetable oil for bowl
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • pretzel salt or coarse kosher salt for sprinkling
  • Cheddar Cheese Sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir together warm water and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. If your mixture doesn't foam, start again with new yeast.
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar and kosher salt.
  • Add flour mixture and butter to the yeast mixture. Stir until well combined.
  • After dough has come together, knead the dough on a very lightly floured surface until smooth, about 8 minutes.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl (or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray). Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place racks in upper and lower third of oven.
  • Punch dough down and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form each piece into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a long rope and cut each rope into 1-2 inch nuggets, and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  • In a large 5 quart pot, bring 8 cups of water and 1/2 cup baking soda to a boil.
  • Add 12 nuggets at a time to boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place on parchment lined sheets.
  • Immediately sprinkle nuggets with pretzel salt.
  • Repeat with remaining nuggets.
  • Bake pretzels for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  • For the cheese Sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Lower the heat and add the cheese and cayenne pepper. Whisk until the cheese is melted and smooth.