Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you’ve ever had!
Then, dip them in the easiest Homemade Cheese Sauce ever and prepare to eat the entire batch yourself. In one sitting.
The only thing more fun than being a food blogger is spending time with other food bloggers.
After all, the job is a bit isolating at times.
So when Terranea Resorts invited a group of bloggers over for a long weekend (including me!), I couldn’t wait to soak up the sun, meet the chefs, and eat some seriously delicious food.
Terranea Resorts sits serenely on the coast of Southern California. With gorgeous ocean views, nearby excursions, world class dining, and impeccable service, Terranea is fully equipped to help you relax, refuel, and recharge.
For a group of food bloggers, there is really no better place.
That’s me in the back corner clutching the bloody mary, and then clockwise you’ll see Nagi from RecipeTin Eats, Jen from Carlsbad Cravings, Chelsea from Chelsea’s Messy Apron, Rachael from Eazy Peazy Mealz, and Holly from Spend with Pennies. AKA my new BFFs.
At one of our many delicious meals (brunches often went 3+ hours), we ordered a couple of Bavarian Soft Pretzels. At one point a helpful server tried to remove the leftovers and I literally grabbed the plate back out of her hands.
Looking at this photo, wouldn’t you do the same?
When I was deciding which dish I’d recreate to share with you, this Homemade Soft Pretzel recipe was the obvious choice. (By the way, see that cheese-filled bread bowl in the photo? That’s Jalapeno Popper Dip, and Nagi recreated it on her blog. Check it out!)
I went with a less traditional knot shape, but you can twist the dough any way you see fit.
To achieve that crackly brown outside of the pretzel, you dunk the knots in a boiling baking soda bath before baking. Then, sprinkle some coarse salt and bake them to golden brown, crackly perfection.
Homemade Cheese Sauce makes the perfect dipping sauce, too. Terranea also served a whole grain-honey mustard sauce.
Eating the soft pretzels at Nelson’s was just one of the many many MANY delicious dishes we enjoyed. We also had a chance to watch the Chef de Cuisine at mar’sel in action before enjoying dinner there.
We also had a chance to visit Terranea’s own farm. Farm-to-table dining informs many of the restaurant offerings, so it was really interesting to meet the head gardener Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra. What Terranea cannot grow themselves, they source locally whenever possible.
All around, it was a magical weekend of food and friends! I’m so grateful to be included in the gathering and hosted by Terranea. I cannot wait to return to Terranea with my family!
Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup + 2 quarts water divided
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar divided
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water
- Kosher salt for sprinkling
- Homemade Cheese Sauce for serving
- n a small saucepan, heat 1 ¼ cups water to 110 degrees F. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar until dissolved and remove from heat. Pour yeast over the top and set aside to bloom until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Add melted butter and bloomed yeast mixture. Stir until the dough just comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl but clinging to the bottom.
- Coat a large bowl lightly with oil or nonstick spray. Transfer dough to the oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour (see notes).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring remaining 2 quarts (8 cups) water and baking soda to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk and water.
- Turn out dough on to a lightly floured surface and shape into an 8-inch round disc. Using a bench scraper, pizza cutter, or butter knife, cut the disc into quarters. Then, cut each quarter into thirds so you have 12 pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into a long rope and lay each rope in a horseshoe shape. Twist the ends together, then wrap under the knot and pull the ends through the loop (see photos in the post above). Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
- Working with one pretzel at a time, drop a pretzel in the boiling baking soda water for 30 seconds. Remove and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Immediately brush with the egg yolk wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pretzels are dark brown, crackly, and fragrant. Remove from the oven and serve with Homemade Cheese Sauce.
Terranea Resorts sponsored the accommodations and some meals for the weekend; however, I was not otherwise compensated for my time. The opinions expressed here are mine alone.