Tasty Tuesday: National Pretzel Day with The Foodie School

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You pick, chocolate or cheesy! Chef Mara with the Foodie School is here making pretzels for National Pretzel Day.

To take classes with Mara, just visit TheFoodieSchool.com.

Homemade Pretzels

Pretzel Ingredients

  • 15 oz  water
  • 1 Tbsp.   yeast
  • 4 Cups bread flour
  • 6 oz Cake flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Soda Wash

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda


1. Bloom yeast in warm water and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes until foamy.

2. In a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, mix remaining pretzel ingredients. Slowly add water and yeast mixture until a dough is formed. Knead dough on medium-low speed for 10 minutes.

3. Add dough to a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Spray top of dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm area until doubled in size (about 1 ½ hours)

4. With a bench scraper, cut off a long piece of dough 5 oz in weight.

5. With the palms of the hands, roll on the bench to a uniform strip 30 inches long.  Twist into a pretzel shape.

6. Dip in baking soda solution.  Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment.  Stretch out and reform the pretzel shapes as necessary the larger the better.  (Note: after dipping in soda solution, the units are difficult to handle.  If desired, pan the pretzels first, then brush thoroughly with the soda solution.)

7. Sprinkle with pretzel salt.

8. Bake immediately at 500°F for 8 – 9 minutes or until well browned.

9. Optional: Dip in melted butter immediately after baking and drain on racks or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture


  • Prep Ahead: Make 1 Batch Dough Per 2 Groups
  • Sheet Pans
  • Medium Pot for Dip
  • Sheet Pans/Silpats
  • Everything/Salt
  • Lg. Bowl/Plastic for Proofing


Ganache Ingredients

  • 16 ounces good chocolate (milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet, etc,) chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Fleur de sel for garnish


1. Pour the cream into a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. When the cream has tiny bubbles forming around the side of the pan and whisps of steam are rising, remove from heat.

3. Add in chopped chocolate and stir until smooth.

4. When all the chocolate has melted, add the butter. Stir to combine.


  • Prep Ahead: Chocolate in Warmer, Cream in Sauce pan
  • Med. Bowl

Cheeseburger Queso


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/4 Cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water or wine
  • 8 ounces queso melt, shredded
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper.

2. When the beef is no longer pink, add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent and the beef has started to turn dark brown. (It should look like taco meat.)

3. Lower the heat and add the ketchup, barbecue sauce, cumin, paprika, and garlic and cook until fragrant.

4. Pour over the milk and then add the cornstarch/water mixture.

5. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and cook until it thickens.

6. Add the shredded cheese, one handful at a time. Do not add more until the previous cheese has melted. Taste and adjust seasoning and heat.


  • Prep ahead: Cut Onion, Mince Garlic
  • Saute Pan
  • Box Graters/Parchment
  • Straight Wooden Spoon