Homemade Cheddar Garlic Soft Pretzels

Homemade chewy, super soft pretzels stuffed with melty cheddar cheese & savory herbs, finished off with a light sprinkle of sea salt. Fast, easy and a family favorite!

Homemade Cheddar Pretzel

** PLEASE READ: There isn’t any actual garlic in the recipe!! We originally had fresh garlic in the recipe, but the garlic flavor was overpowering so we used chopped onions and parsley instead, which gives the pretzels a milder garlic flavor!

Introducing: Homemade Garlic Cheddar Soft Pretzels.

These homemade pretzels are dangerously easy. Seriously. Make them once and you will lose all fears of homemade pretzels once and for all. I promise. If we can make them, so can you.

Last week, when we had another wave of snow along with another few days off from school, I decided it would be the perfect time to tackle homemade pretzels. What better way to spend a snow day than experimenting in the kitchen next to the warmth of the hot oven?

Let me just say, these pretzels turned out way better than I ever expected. They’re so fluffy. So soft. So wonderful. So heavenly. And…. SO easy. You’ve GOTTA make these!

Homemade Garlic Cheddar Soft Pretzel

Ingredients explained…

1.  What makes these pretzels so easy? Instead of the boiling method typically used to create the classic texture to the outer layer, I simply used an egg bath. There is simply no need to go through all the trouble of boiling each individual pretzel. An egg wash is so much easier and less intimidating, yet still leaves you with that glossy outer layer and fluffy inner layer that a soft pretzel is known for.

2.  This recipe calls for bread flour. The difference between bread flour and all purpose flour is that bread flour is made from hard, high-protein wheat. It also has more gluten strength and protein content than all-purpose flour. So what does this all mean? It means that bread flour leaves you  with a fuller/fluffier/chubbier pretzel.

** For a heartier version, you could do half whole-wheat flour, half bread flour.

3.  Use brown sugar instead of white sugar. It gives the pretzels an extra depth of flavor from the molasses in the brown sugar.

4.  These pretzels are stuffed with melty cheddar cheese, dried parsley flakes, and dried chopped onion. Even though there isn’t any actual garlic in these pretzels, the onion and parsley mixes with the cheddar and leaves you with this incredible cheesy garlic bread flavor stuffed into this pretzel.

5.  Don’t be scared of kneading! Kneading makes bread and rolls light, airy, and chewy. It’s a crucial step in making yeast breads and it so easy to learn… I learned from this video. Watch 0:25-1:10. The video says to knead the dough for 6-8 minutes, but this dough really only needs about 1-2 minutes.

6.  Halfway through baking, brush the pretzels you must with melted butter. Brushing the butter on halfway through gives the butter a chance to dissolve so of it’s greasiness and wedge itself into all the nooks and crannies of the pretzel before the pretzels come out the oven.

** Be careful to not knock the sea salt off the pretzels when you brush on the butter.

Homemade Cheddar Garlic Pretzels

Shaping the Pretzels

Above is a visual of how to shape the pretzels. There is no rolling pin required.

With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough in half and then into thirds to make 6 smaller balls of dough. Each ball should be a little over 1/2 cup. This measurement does not have to be exact. Use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish – the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.

Take each ball of dough and roll into a rope. As even in diameter as you can get it. My ropes were about twenty five inches long. Feel free to make your pretzels as thick or as thin as you wish. I personally like thicker pretzels, but make sure you do not make your ropes too thick because the dough will expand quite a bit in the oven.

To shape the pretzel, take the ends of the rope and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. I found this step-by-step post to be super helpful.

Homemade Cheddar Garlic Soft Pretzel

These pretzels are quick, easy, and chewy. A perfectly approachable recipe for beginners, adults, kids, and all soft-pretzel lovers. Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Cheddar Garlic Soft Pretzels

Homemade chewy, super soft pretzels stuffed with melty cheddar cheese & savory herbs, finished off with a light sprinkle of sea salt. Fast, easy and a family favorite!

Ingredients:

For the pretzel dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast (such as Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes, more for topping
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried minced onion

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • For the topping:
  • sea salt, for topping
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

To make the dough:

  • Combine water, yeast, and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer that is fitted with a dough hook, until fairly mixed, about one minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Let yeast/water rest for 5 minutes.
  • In medium bowl combine flour and salt. Add flour and salt mixture to the water and yeast and knead for 2 minutes. If dough is super sticky add small amounts of flour until dough stops sticking to sides. I had to add about 1/4 cup more. Do not add more than 1/2 cup. Add the cheese, parsley, and onions and mix until just combined. The parsley and onions are what give the “garlic” flavor, so don’t be confused that there isn’t any actual garlic in this recipe. 🙂
  • Let rest for 15 minutes.

To shape the pretzels:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes (see post for a video explaining how to knead) and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough in half and then into thirds to make 6 smaller balls of dough. Each ball should be a little over 1/2 cup. This measurement does not have to be exact. Use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish – the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
  • Take each ball of dough and roll into a rope. As even in diameter as you can get it. My ropes were about twenty five inches long. Feel free to make your pretzels as thick or as thin as you wish. I personally like thicker pretzels, but make sure you do not make your ropes too thick because the dough will expand quite a bit in the oven.
  • To shape the pretzel, take the ends of the rope and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. See above for link to visual instructions.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (both sides). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick baking spray. Sprinkle the tops of the pretzels with salt and parsley.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, remove the pretzels from the oven and carefully brush with melted butter before returning them to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.