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Soft Pretzel Bites with Vegan Cheese Sauce

These soft, buttery pretzel bites pair perfectly with the vegan cheese sauce.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 1 hr 42 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, German
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

For the pretzels:

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp fast rise yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
  • 4+ cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

For boiling:

  • 3 quarts water
  • cup baking soda

For topping:

  • Oil or melted vegan butter
  • Pretzel salt

For the cheese sauce:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened rice milk we prefer rice milk for its neutral flavor
  • 3/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds can sub with your favorite vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • paprika, for topping optional

Instructions
 

For the pretzel bites:

  • Whisk together warm water, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to activate.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together 4 cups of flour and salt.
  • Add the melted vegan butter and yeast mixture (once activated) to the flour. Mix until a ball forms, then knead for 5-7 minutes, by hand or using a stand mixer with the hook attachment. Add flour, as necessary, so that the dough does not feel too sticky (it should still be a soft dough).
  • Lightly oil a bowl. Form the dough into a ball, place it into the bowl and roll it around to cover in oil.
  • Place a wet towel over the bowl. Let sit for one hour (ball should approximately double in size).
  • Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to a large rectangle that is ~1/2 inch thick. Cut into ~3/4" x 1" pieces.
  • Boil the 3 quarts of water in a large pot. Once it's boiling, carefully add the baking soda (the water will rise quickly, so do this slowly and carefully).
  • In small batches, add the pretzel bites to the boiling water. Boil for ~1 minute, then flip over and boil for another minute. Remove and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until all the pieces have been boiled.
  • Brush each with melted vegan butter or oil and top with pretzel salt.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden-brown.

For the sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add in the flour and whisk until fully mixed.
  • Pour in the rice milk and whisk until there are no clumps. Mix in the garlic powder and salt.
  • Whisk in the cheese until fully combined. Finally, whisk in the vegetable broth until creamy.
  • Top with paprika, if desired. Enjoy by dipping warm pretzels into the sauce!
Keyword appetizer, bites, cheese, delicious, plantbased, pretzel, vegan, yum