These Quick Pretzel Bites with Sauerkraut Cheddar Cheese Sauce are a fantastic Oktoberfest treat. The soft salted pretzel bites dunked in the cheese sauce, with that zing of kraut, perfect in every way.
Guys. I don’t just like soft pretzels. I REALLY LIKE soft pretzels. Those places at the mall? That smell wafting through the air? It’s like in the cartoons. When the scent of something amazing turns into like that long beckoning finger…. “come …. buy the pretzel … you know you want the pretzel….” And you do, and you eat it in your car and all is right with the world. How have I never made pretzels before? I have always wanted to. I also just assumed that they would be super difficult to make. Guess what? I was so wrong.
This post is sponsored by Frank’s Kraut. The lifetime love of their sauerkraut and opinions here are all my own.
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Last year, I thought about making pretzels. Then I had a brilliant idea, Why make cheese sauce, when you can make sauerkraut cheese sauce?! The Super bowl had just passed, and recipes had all turned their heads toward outdoor grilling. I stashed the idea away. Knowing it was tucked away in my back pocket, for when it would be ideal. Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest began on September 22nd in Germany. Typically by now I have shared at least one new recipe with you, celebrating this most glorious time of year. I’m not sure where September went, but *poof* it’s gone. But never fear!! Oktoberfest is still going strong, and I have come through for you!
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is held every year in Munich, Germany. It typically lasts 16 to 18 days, running from mid to late September, through the first weekend in October. Nearly 6 million people from around the world attend this fun filled beer festival each year. The celebrants consume large amounts of beer, ride amusement park rides, listen to music and eat all sorts of Oktoberfest food!
You all know that I have LOTS of sauerkraut recipes on my blog, right? My food blogging friends have even jokingly refer to me as the “Kraut Queen.” You can break down my recipes into a couple categories within the “Sauerkraut Recipe Umbrella” though.
Take for instance, Reuben Recipes. I have LOADS. You wouldn’t believe the different foods I have Reubenized. Then there are the basic Kraut Recipes. Like for instance, my Sauerkraut Salad. Perfect for just gobbling up all on it’s own, or use it for topping burgers and brats and hot dogs. or the not-so-basic, Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake. The best darn chocolate cake I have ever sank my teeth into, YUM!
Then there are the recipes that I would call my Oktoberfest Recipes. Many, not all of my favorites contain kraut.
My Favorite Oktoberfest Recipes:
- Brat Burgers – Perfectly seasoned, flavorful brat burgers — looks like a burger, tastes like a bratwurst! Top it with a mound of sauerkraut, and grab yourself a cold one. Perfect for Oktoberfest, tailgating, or just any ‘ol time!
- Oktoberfest Chili – An Oktoberfest twist on a classic chili – spicy, hearty and flavorful, made with bratwurst and sauerkraut.
- Apple Kuchen (German Apple Cake) – A traditional German dessert made of a ‘not too sweet’ cake, a layer of fresh apples sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and drizzled with vanilla glaze. Heavenly!
- German Onion Pie (Zwiebelkuchen) – This savory Onion Pie is known as Zwiebelkuchen in Germany, translating to “Onion Cake.” It’s a pie with caramelized onions, bacon and topped with an egg mixture.
- Sauerkraut, Bratwurst and Potato Soup – A creamy, slightly tangy soup full of veggies, potatoes, bratwurst and sauerkraut.
Now, I have a new favorite. These pretzel bites and cheddar sauerkraut cheese dip paired perfectly with my favorite Oktoberfest beer. And guess what? Aside from the frozen bread dough coming to room temperature, they took no time at all to make. No dough making, no mixing, kneading, nothing.
Just grab some frozen bread dough rolls from the freezer in the morning and the rest happens later. Let them soften in a warm place. When the dough has thawed, preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and bring a pot of water and baking soda to a rolling boil on the stove. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and coat it lightly with olive oil.
Take each roll and stretch it out. Cut each roll into about 6 pieces.
Roughly roll each piece into a ball.
Drop dough balls a few at a time, into the water, and boil for 30 seconds.
Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, and brush them lightly with egg wash and sprinkle them with coarse sea salt.
Bake them for about 10 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.
While they are baking, make your cheese sauce. Make a roux with butter and flour. Add warmed milk and whisk until smooth. Add cheese.
Hand shredded, sharp cheddar and extra sharp white cheddar, whisk until melted. Whisk in chopped sauerkraut.
Serve immediately. Warm pretzels and warm cheese topped with a sprinkling of caraway seeds.
I always have cans of Frank’s Kraut in my pantry. But I have to say, their poly bags are my favorite. The two pound ones, I keep them in the freezer if I am not going to eat them right away. If I open one and have some left? I put it in a mason jar and store it in the fridge. Those little packs though?? Those are amazing!! They come in so handy. For this recipe, I used one of them, and it was the perfect amount! My son’s girlfriend takes them to work in her lunch and eats it right out of the package with a fork. Girl after my own heart!
FRANK’S – CREATING AMERICA’S BEST TASTING SAUERKRAUT SINCE 1905
“The making of sauerkraut is a time honored tradition that has been passed down among families for generations. While there are many varieties and types of sauerkraut the basic preparation method is a follows: take cleaned and shredded white cabbage and place into a sealable container, add salt and apply a lid to induce pressure. The salt drains the water out of the cabbage and allows the cabbage to ferment in its own juice. A week or two later you will have fresh, delicious sauerkraut.” – The Story of Sauerkraut eBook
What do you say we get to that recipe??
- For the Pretzels:
- 6 frozen dinner rolls
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 10 cups water
- Olive oil
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
- Coarse Sea Salt
- For the Sauerkraut Cheese Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- ½ cup milk, warmed
- 2 ounces sharp white cheddar, hand shredded not the pre-shredded kind
- 2 ounces cheddar cheese, hand shredded not the pre-shredded kind
- 1 (1/4 ounce package) Frank's Kraut, drained and chopped finely (about ¼ cup)
- caraway seeds, for serving
- To Make the Pretzels:
- Thaw dough.
- When the dough has thawed, preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and bring a pot of water and baking soda to a rolling boil on the stove. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and coat it lightly with olive oil.
- Take each roll and stretch it out. Cut each roll into about 6 pieces. Roughly roll each piece into a ball.
- Drop dough balls a few at a time, into the boiling water, and boil for 30 seconds.
- Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, and brush them lightly with egg wash and sprinkle them with coarse sea salt.
- Bake them for about 10 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Move to a cooling rack for a couple of minutes.
- To Make the Sauerkraut Cheese Sauce:
- While they are baking, make your cheese sauce. Warm Milk in the microwave. Make a roux with butter and flour. (melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk in flour until dissolved and smooth) Add warmed milk and whisk until smooth. Add cheese. Whisk until melted. Whisk in chopped sauerkraut. Pour into a bowl, top with caraway seeds if desired. Serve cheese warm with warm pretzels.