Ok, friends. Today’s recipe is a winner. Just imagine a delicious warm carb-filled pretzel knot stuffed with fresh gouda, topped with garlic salt then dunked in a warm, creamy cheesy sauce. I mean, right? And you might not believe me… but these guys are super simple to make, and are pretty fool-proof! I’ve made them so many times and have yet to have a failure (knock-on-wood)!
Besides, this dough is incredibly versatile. I’ve used it to make pretzel hot dog buns, large soft pretzels, and now these mini pretzel knots! Basically, you need these in your life. To make the dough, just combine sugar, water, butter, and yeast in a bowl. Mix together, then let stand for about 5 minutes (the mixture should start bubbling). Next, add flour and salt and mix together first with a spatula then, as the mixture starts coming together, knead with your hands until it forms a ball. Add the dough to a well oiled large-sized bowl and turn to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and let sit in a warm/dry place until the dough doubles in size (should take about an hour).
Preheat the oven to 425 and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Remove the risen dough from the bowl and divide in half, then in half again. Each resulting portion should be divided again into 4 (I did this by rolling the quartered dough into a long strip, then cutting it into four sections).
To stuff with cheese, simply make a shallow incision along the middle and spread the dough with your fingers. Take some freshly grated gouda (about 1 tsp.) and place in the center then, using your fingers, simply pinch the sides together to seal. Then, take each strip and tie into a messy knot.
Add the baking soda to the boiling water (it might look a bit scary at this point, that’s OK it’s supposed to get super bubbly) and submerge the knots (two at a time) for about 30 seconds on one side, then 30 seconds on the other. Remove from the water, and set on a plate covered in paper towels (this will help absorb the excess water). Coat with egg wash, garlic salt, and a sprinkle of sea salt and place on the top rack in the oven for about 15 minutes (or until they reach a deep golden brown).
Now for my favorite part. The Gouda and cheddar cheese dipping sauce! Just add the heavy cream, salt, flour and whisk vigorously over a medium-high heat until it thickens slightly (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and add about 1 cup grated Gouda and 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and mix together until the cheese melts. Serve immediately!
- Pretzel Knot
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 stick unsalted butter, completely melted
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4½ all-purpose flour (bread flour works as well)
- Pam or oil to grease bowl
- 3 quarts water
- ⅔ cups baking soda
- 1 egg white, beaten (Egg wash)
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- Cheese Sauce
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 4 tsp. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup freshly grated gouda
- 1 cup freshly grated cheddar
- Pretzel Knots
- In a bowl, add the water, yeast, sugar and butter. Mix together then let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the salt and flour to the mixture and mix together with a spatula until it begins to come together.
- Then, using your hands, knead together until it forms a ball.
- Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean, damp towel and place in a warm/dry place for about an hour (I like to use the oven for this).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, remove and knead on a lightly flour surface.
- Divide into half, then into half again. (so you should have four balls of dough at this point)
- Divide each resulting ball into fourths (or, just roll each ball into a long log shape and cut into fourths)
- Once divided, roll into a log shape and cut a shallow incision into the middle of each strip of dough,
- Add about 1 tsp. of grated gouda then, using your fingers, seal the dough.
- Tie each strip into a messy knot and set on a baking sheet.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the baking soda.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Place the pretzel knots (two at a time) into the boiling water and let sit for about 30 seconds on each side.
- Remove from the water and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush with the beaten egg white, and top with garlic salt and a sprinkle of sea salt and bake on the top rack of your oven for about 15 minutes, or until they reach a deep golden brown.
- Cheese Sauce
- In a large sauce pan, add the heavy cream, salt and flour. Whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and add the grated cheese and stir until fully incorportated.