Cheesy Pretzel Twists

Simple homemade pretzel dough wrapped around cheddar cheese-- so simple yet hit-the-spot delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Aka your new favorite way to eat carbs.

These cheesy pretzel twists are legit out of control from their hot, buttery, golden exterior to all that glorious coarse salt and the moment you break it apart or take that huge giant bite… I think you know where I’m going with this…

Simple homemade pretzel dough wrapped around cheddar cheese-- so simple yet hit-the-spot delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

ALL THAT CHEESE! The best of surprises.

These pretzel twists are a little something I whipped up last week watching a pre-season football game with my hubs (2 year anniversary soon, crazy!). Soft pretzels are like gold to this guy, which makes rational sense considering my entire homemade soft pretzel repertoire essentially starts from his family recipe. What I particularly love about the family pretzel recipe is that it’s quick. You don’t have to wait hours (or days!) for the dough to rise.

If you want to turn the pretzels up a notch, however, wrap the dough around a stick of cheddar cheese. Or cut them into bites and call it a delicious day.

How to make cheesy pretzel twists on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cheesy pretzel twists dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s focus on the cheese version right now. The dough? It’s basic and straightforward. You’ll only need 6 ingredients to get things going. Start with warm water + yeast. Not just any yeast, my go-to for nearly all the bread baking I do: Red Star Platinum. The reason I always recommend this yeast to you is because this is a premium instant yeast with a difference that not only you can taste, you can see as well. Your pretzels, your rolls, your breads, your pizza crusts– will puff up more. The volume you’ll get simply cannot be achieved with other yeasts on the market. That’s why Platinum is my fave. Makes working with yeast easy and your finished product absolutely fabulous.

And after the water + yeast comes some flavor: a little honey, a little salt, a little melted butter. The 6th ingredient? Flour. Use all-purpose flour for fluffy white pretzels, use whole wheat flour for denser and more wholesome pretzels. Whichever flour you choose, you’ll need about 4 cups.

Cheesy pretzel twists dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make cheesy pretzel twists on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Once the dough is made, pull a little apart at a time, roll it into a log, then coil around a long piece of cheese. I simply used these cheese sticks. String cheese works too, but you might need a little more dough because they’re a little fatter. You can make the pretzels as large or as small as you want– they’ll be the size of the cheese inside. So if you’re not using pre-cut cheese sticks or string cheese, you can slice the cheese however large you want. Keep in mind, though, the more cheese inside, the more likely the cheese will seep out. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I love the burnt cheese on the sides!

The baking soda bath is next. This is the step right before baking the pretzels and is definitely one of the most important. Here’s why: a suuuuuuper quick dip into boiling water + baking soda is what gives your pretzels that wonderfully authentic golden brown color. Basically, a baking soda bath will get you that iconic pretzel look. Not only that, the baking soda bath also helps give the pretzels their chewy exteriors. The best part after the cheese inside, am I right? For the baking soda bath step, I use my large dutch oven. Works wonders every time.

Another reason behind those crisp, shiny, chewy, golden brown pretzel exteriors? A little friend I like to call the egg wash. Just a simple brush of beaten egg after the baking soda bath and before baking will really make a difference.

How to make cheesy pretzel twists on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Don’t they look like weird little mummies? ↑ ↑

Simple homemade pretzel dough wrapped around cheddar cheese-- so simple yet hit-the-spot delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And OK, since we’re already breaking the diet rules today, let’s brush a little melted butter on the pretzels after they come out of the oven. The melted butter will seep inside the hot pretzels. It’s all so beautiful.

Whether an after-school snack, football food, or a vegging out on the couch with all the carbs– these pretzel twists are the answer to all cravings. By the way, I think we can all firmly agree that no other snack can live up to melty cheese inside of a homemade pretzel!! You’re definitely trying these ASAP.

Simple homemade pretzel dough wrapped around cheddar cheese-- so simple yet hit-the-spot delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

More pretzel recipes:

You should also try these ham & cheese pockets. More cheese surprises!!

Cheesy Pretzel Twists

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300ml) warm water, plus 9 more cups for step 5
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon (20g) honey
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3.75 - 4.25 cups (470 - 530g) all-purpose flour + more for work surface
  • 18-20 cheddar cheese sticks (about 4.5 inches each)1
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • optional for topping: 4 Tablespoons (60g) melted unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Whisk the yeast into the 1 and 1/2 cups warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast may remain. Add honey, melted butter, and salt. Whisk until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/4 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes, then shape into a ball. Place in a large greased mixing bowl. I usually use nonstick spray to grease it, but olive oil works too. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut off a handful of dough. Roll into an 18-inch log, about 3/4 inch thick. Coil extremely tightly around a cheese stick. You do not want any cheese to be exposed. Pinch to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining cheese and dough.
  5. Combine 9 cups of water with the baking soda in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a rapid boil. Drop 2-3 pretzel twists into boiling water and let sit for 20 seconds. Remove with a spatula and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the pretzels aren't touching.
  6. Brush beaten egg over each pretzel. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and brush each pretzel with melted butter. Serve warm.

Make ahead/Freezing: The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for three months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzel twists while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking. Baked pretzel twists freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven at 300°F (149°C) until warm.

Recipe Notes:

Cheese is bound to seep out a little, but to avoid a total cheese explosion-- make sure you wrap the cheese up extremely tight. No cheese peeking out from under the dough! If the unused ball of dough rises a lot while you're working on coiling the pretzels, make sure you punch it down to remove any air bubbles.

  1. I used these cheese sticks, which are about 4 - 4.5 inches long. They can be found at any major grocery store. You can also use string cheese or slice your own.

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SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.


5-qt Tilt Head Glass Bowl | Kitchenaid Stand Mixer | Pastry Brush | Le Creuset Cast-Iron Dutch Oven | Measuring Cups

Today I’m working with Red Star Yeast. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Simple homemade pretzel dough wrapped around cheddar cheese-- so simple yet hit-the-spot delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

50 comments

  1. I love how you referred to these as “mummies”! I am (already!) planning a Halloween party and wondering how these would turn out with hot dogs wrapped in the pretzel dough? 

    • They’d be wonderful! I’d leave a little bit of the hot dog peeking out at the ends. You don’t need to cook the hot dogs prior.

  2. this sounds like such a happy carb/cheese marriage. and much better than just a pretzel with nacho cheese dip; the dip always tastes so fake and gloopy to me!

  3. Oh dear…the sheer knowledge that these exist may be a problem…NOM!!!! 🙂

    Rxx

    http://www.peppermintdolly.com

  4. i looove your bread recipes! since ive made the honey butter rolls i havent made any other rolls. the pizza dough and the oatmeal honey bread are amazing. ofcourse love your other recipes too , always no fail. looking forward to new recipes andand learning more stuff from you . 

  5. Wow, two years? I’ve been reading your blog for a looong time, because I remember when you got engaged and then you were planning your wedding and being all excited. Time, it flies like crazy.
    These are heavenly. When you pull those open? Wow. That’s how life should be!

  6. Sally you literally read my mind, last night on the way home from work I was meal planning in my head (what I usually do when sitting in traffic) and thought of making pretzels for football Saturday/Sunday.  I’m definitely trying these, YUM!  

  7. This is the ideal way to consume cheesy carbs! I’m not going to be able to stop thinking about them now…

  8. OMG!! I’m sure if you put a basket of these in front of me, I’d devour them all, lol! Seriously, though, I can only imagine the flavours with the salty pretzel and that ooey gooey cheese. Pinned! Bring on the carbs 😉

  9. OMG Sally! These would be a perfect back-to-school snack, either cold taken to school or reheated back at home. In the city where my school is, it’s already cold and raining again (not necessarily a bad thing, I love fall) so I’m already appreciating warm winter comfort food. I’ve made that homemade pretzel recipe for regular pretzels probably a half dozen times already, the most recent time I sprinkled parmesan and cheddar cheese on top before baking, but stuffing cheese IN the pretzel is an even better idea 🙂

  10. An entire stick of cheese??? HEAVEN!!!

  11. Good god Sally – will my body ever be bikini-ready again??! I’m baking these tonight. Gonna use some of my orecious Dutch cheese hand carried back to Singapore from our liwlands summer holiday. Wish me luck! 😉
    Yours truly, Elaine aka Mrs Freeloader

  12. Okay, I am totally in love with these Cheesy Pretzel Twists!! They are downright amazing in their perfect combination of all that is good about snack food. You’ve created my perfect football watching food! (BTW, I thought I was the only one who loves burnt cheese. My husband thinks I’m weird for picking it off baking sheets and Panini press plates!)

  13. As soon as I saw that melty cheese, I swooned. What a brilliant use of pretzel dough and cheese stick. I can’t wait to make these for the fiance during football season 🙂

  14. This is going to be SO dangerous for me…….but I don’t think I’ll need the bikini bod anymore. Now I’m looking forward to more woolly sweaters and boots…….which will hide everything! 😉

  15. Oh Sally Sally Sally you’re making me drool with your soft pretzels . Perfect for Monday night football season just in time . Thanks girl , Happy anniversary btw 🙂

  16. I loove all your recipes Sally . you are a great baker.

  17. Oh my goodness! These look so fabulous that I have to get out there in my kitchen and make these right away. I always have yeast so I am ready to go. You have surpassed yourself giving us this fabulous recipe with the mouthwatering photos to accompany it. My household are going to love these. I am sure the smell of them cooking is going to drive my whole house crazy. Please excuse me as I have to start this recipe right away! Keep up the good work!

  18. These look too yummy – there is a big danger I would eat every last one! Adding!

  19. I love your recipe, I like that Melty cheese

  20. Hi, can you make these without the cheese? If not, do you have a pretzel recipe without cheese?
    thanks

  21. Absolute genius. I tried pretzels for the first time this year In New York. Yes, sadly here in Australia we only have the little mini crunchy pretzels. cheese stuffed pretzels sounds fantastic!

  22. Yes to all that cheese!! These look so great!

  23. Thank goodness bathing suit season is OVERRR!! These look incredible Sally!

  24. Definitely will be making these. Love the idea of the cheese. Thanks for another great recipe.

  25. I came for the Nutella/cinnamon sugar  muffins recipe that I love and then I saw this…needless to say I just pulled a batch out of the oven. I used mozzarella and threw in some sliced pepperoni. These are incredible! 

  26. I’m suddenly craving all the carbs. These are perfection!

  27. EFF YES! I used to live on the same block as the Reading Terminal Market and one of the vendors sold pretzels like this. They were like CRACK to me. Thank you for this recipe – and the memories!

  28. Hi Sally the roll up were great like all your receipe.   I have a question can that dough be used for a pizza.?????  Thanks so much .

  29. This was fun and relatively easy to make. My six year old son loved these and he’s at this stage where he’s hard to please. I added hotdogs to some and others with mozerella sticks. Thank you for such a fun recipe. I’m trying the chocolate chip recipe tomorrow. xx

  30. I tried these today for a football treat and while they didn’t look quite as pretty as yours, they were delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!

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