Paul Hollywood’s Pretzels with Cheese Sauce

Paul Hollywood’s Pretzels with Cheese Sauce

The shaping technique for pretzels is tricky to master, but once you’ve got the hang of it these are sure to become a firm favourite. Served with a rich Red Leicester sauce, these are perfect as a savoury snack to share with friends.

Makes: 4
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 45 mins + proving
Baking Time: 20 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
To make the dough, put the flour, salt, yeast and butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the malt extract to the milk and stir well until dissolved.

Step 2
Gradually work the milk mixture into the flour using your fingertips and keep mixing to make a stiff, sticky dough.

Step 3
Turn out the dough on to a worktop (the dough shouldn’t need any extra flour for kneading). Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and glossy, then place in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and leave to prove for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Step 4
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.

Step 5
Turn out the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece of dough and, using your hands, roll it back and forth to make a 50cm long rope, tapering the ends and creating a slight bulge in the centre. As you roll the dough rope, apply pressure to work it from the middle outwards pushing out any air bubbles. You may find it easier to roll the rope part of the way, then leave it for a few minutes to relax before continuing the rolling to the full length. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Step 6
To shape the pretzels, curve the rope into a U-shape, then take the two tapered ends and twist them around each other twice before fixing the ends to the opposite sides of the pretzel, pressing down lightly to seal. Set aside and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough until you have 4 pretzels.

Step 7
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the bicarbonate of soda and sugar. One at a time, gently drop each pretzel into the boiling water and leave for 30 seconds, turning them over halfway through. Gently remove the pretzel with a slotted spoon and set on a baking sheet. Sprinkle over the sea salt and sesame seeds.

Step 8
Make a deep slash using a sharp knife or bread lame into the thickest part of the dough, then bake the pretzels for 15-20 minutes until they are a deep brown. As soon as the pretzels are baked, transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Step 9
Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking all the time. Pour in the evaporated milk and whisk. Add the red Leicester and Parmesan and continue to cook until the sauce is the consistency of double cream.

Step 10
Pour the cheese sauce into a dipping bowl or jug and serve with the pretzels.