Sourdough Cheddar Soft Pretzels are a savory cheesy snack with cheese in the pretzel and baked on top.
My sourdough starter came out of hibernation last week when my fridge died. It was one of the few things I was able to save, hundreds of dollars of food had to be thrown out.
But, I still have my 15+ year old sourdough starter so that made me not as sad.
If you need sourdough starter I recommend asking local friends and neighbors if they have any they would be willing to share. Sourdough fans are more than happy to scoop out a little starter for someone else to join their passion.
If you can't get it that way, you can start your own. My blogging buddy, Erin from The Spiffy Cookie has a great sourdough starter recipe and tutorial. This is basically how I made mine years ago.
Now on to the pretzels.
Basically I made a simple sourdough bread recipe and added cheese to the dough before baking.
Some soft pretzel places just shape it and then bake it... that isn't a pretzel! That is a pretzel shaped breadstick. Pretzels need to be quickly boiled in baking soda water before baking to get that distinctive pretzel taste.
As for the shaping and rolling this is the method I find the easiest:
Rolling pretzels is pretty easy. Roll it out 16 inches, bring the ends around and cross over 2 inches from the top. Then move the ends back down to overlap the bottom. Be sure to pinch the connection points well so they stay together when boiled.
It is a pretzel-palooza this week. We are featuring pretzel recipes this week including homemade pretzels and recipes made with pretzels.
- Cheddar Garlic Soft Pretzels by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Homemade Dijon Mustard by Art of Natural Living
- No Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars by Making Miracles
- Pretzel Croissants by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Sheet Pan Pretzel Chicken Dinner by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
- Sourdough Cheddar Soft Pretzels by That Recipe
- Spicy Jalapeno Pretzel Mix by Palatable Pastime
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 ½ - 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
- 6 tablespoons baking soda
- 6 cups water
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- course salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds or sliced cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to the lowest setting possible then turn it off as soon as it is heated.
- In a medium bowl combine 1 cup of sourdough starter, 1 cup of flour and butter.
- Spread ½ cup of flour onto a clean counter top and dump the sourdough mixture on top. Knead in the flour. If the dough is too sticky, gradually add in more flour. My sourdough starter was on the liquid side so I needed 2 full cups.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place into a greased bowl that will allow the dough to double in size. Cover with a towel and put in the warm oven to rise, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and knead in the cheese gently. Don't over do it. Just mix in the cheese.
- Divide the dough equally into 12 balls. Roll each ball into a 16 inch rope, then shape into a pretzel. Be sure to pinch together the connection points.
- Place on a greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large sauce pan bring 6 cups of water and 6 tablespoons baking soda to a boil. Slide pretzels into the water and boil for about 5 seconds a side. Return to the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl combine egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush on to each pretzel and add toppings of choice except for extra cheese.
- Bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown. If desired, add slices of cheese on top of the pretzels and bake another minute or two until it is melted.