Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce (Milwaukee Style)

It’s about time I posted something, right?  I know, I know.

I’m still settling in-and by settling in, I am having crazy out-of-towners visit (aka my parents and sister), getting adjusted to the new job, and running all sorts of endless errands (new driver’s license, new plates, emissions testing, realizing I don’t have random things like aluminum foil on hand….so, therefore, last minute trips to grocery stores, and trying to figure out a new exercise schedule on this time that I suddenly have on my hands.)  Being a grown-up finally has its perks.

I made these pretzel rolls during one of my first weekends a tribute to my new, awesome city.  Just about every restaurant in my neighborhood has some sort of pretzel-ish appetizer or roll on its menu..with some sort of beer cheese dipping sauce.  Considering soft pretzels (with salt) are some of my favorite indulgences on this planet, I didn’t hesitate to try another version of this Milwaukee favorite.

As for the rolls, I froze a whole bunch of them and will simply reheat them in the microwave when a craving hits. (Amount of time depends…usually about 30-45 seconds will do the trick.)  I didn’t try reheating the cheese sauce, so if anyone out there does, let me know.  (I actually meant to do it and then realized that I had accidentally hidden it behind my milk in the fridge and forgot I had made it.)

Looking for some more homemade pretzel recipes?  Click here and here.

Enjoy with a nice cold beer (particularly with something made in Milwaukee.)

Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce

Servings: about 10-12 large pretzel rolls and approximately 2 cups of cheese sauce (more than enough)




For the pretzels:

1 cup warm water

2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one packet)

Vegetable oil

2 and  3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on top of the pretzels

6 cups water

1/4 cup baking soda


For the beer cheese sauce:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups beer (I used an IPA.  Use whatever kind you have on hand.)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch nutmeg

2-3 cups cheddar cheese, grated (I used a sharp cheddar.  You may not use all of this.  I found that the original recipe was too runny for my tastes, so I added cheese and tasted as I went.)

Salt and pepper, to taste



1. For the pretzels: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm water and the yeast. Let sit until bubbling, about five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with a thin layer of vegetable oil and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and one teaspoon of salt.

4. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and, using the dough hook, mix the dough on low until it is just combined.

5. Once combined, increase the speed to medium and knead until elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes or so.

6. Roll the dough into a ball and lightly roll the dough in the pre-oiled bowl to completely coat.  Cover with a light cloth and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

7.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat the paper with vegetable oil, and set aside.

8. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth.

9. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each.

10. Cover with a light cloth and let the dough rise again in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.

11. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.

12. Once the rolls have risen, stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up slightly-so be very careful).

13. Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle well with salt and repeat with the remaining rolls.

14. Once all the rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

15. For the beer cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

16. Add the chopped onion and bay leaf and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

17. Add a pinch of salt and the flour, stirring to coat the onions completely, and cook, stirring constantly for about 3-4 minutes.

18. Slowly add the beer to the roux, whisking constantly.

19. Next, slowly add the heavy cream, again, whisking constantly and breaking up any clumps of flour that may have formed.

20. Bring the mixture to a gently simmer, and add the peppercorns, cloves, and nutmeg, and cook, whisking occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

21. Here’s the tricky part: Using a small slotted spoon, remove the peppercorns and bay leaf from the mixture (if you leave a couple of the peppercorns in, it’s ok.  Just be sure you know this before you take  a big bite of cheese.)

22. Remove the sauce from the heat and slowly whisk in the grated cheese, adjusting the amount of cheese to your desired taste and thickness.


Sources:  Pretzels directly from Chow and Beer Cheese Sauce adapted from Homebrew Chef.


July 25, 2012 - 5:13 am

Blog is the New Black - I ADORE pretzel rolls!

July 25, 2012 - 8:53 am

Katrina (GF Gidget) - I tried making gluten free, dairy free pretzels a few times, but it never quite worked out. Maybe if I make them in roll form I will have better luck. Thanks for the idea! I hope you are loving your new city!

July 25, 2012 - 11:48 am

Emily @ She Makes and Bakes - I started salivating when I saw the title…then I saw the first picture and it got worse from there. I love love love pretzels, and beer cheese is the best. Can’t wait to try!

July 25, 2012 - 12:16 pm

Annie - Oh my GOD. I am making these ASAP. Just wow.

July 25, 2012 - 1:19 pm

AsAVerb - YUMMM pub food in my kitchen, I can’t wait!

July 25, 2012 - 2:00 pm

PEACH - Great Pictures Shanon! Yes our visit was crazy FUN! Milwaukee is lucky to have you there! It is a beautiful place and yes great beer! Pretzel bites look delish! YUMMY!

July 25, 2012 - 2:20 pm

srlacy - (thanks, Mom.)

July 25, 2012 - 3:55 pm

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious - Oh goodness that beer cheese sauce is pure bliss!

July 25, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - These looks so, so, fabulous!

July 25, 2012 - 6:08 pm

Ann P. - My mouth is watering. These look amazeballs!!!

July 26, 2012 - 8:36 am

Karen - These look amazing! Welcome to Wisconsin!

July 26, 2012 - 12:08 pm

marla - These rolls look amazing!

July 26, 2012 - 2:21 pm

Shumaila - made some beer pretzels the other day. This dipping sauce would have been great with them! Pinned it!

July 26, 2012 - 5:26 pm

Felicia @ LakeHouseEffect - Beer and cheese are two of my favorite things soo I’m guessing this recipe will be a home run!

July 26, 2012 - 5:42 pm

Ashley - welcome to milwaukee!!!

July 27, 2012 - 12:14 am

Javelin Warrior - That cheese sauce looks incredible and I love how you made everything from scratch – so impressive! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I can’t wait to see what you create next…

July 27, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Geraldine Saucier - Your recipe post is for two of my favorite things:) I love Pretzel bread and Cheese Sauce. I have this recipe saved and will be making it soon! Thanks for sharing.

July 27, 2012 - 10:50 pm

Samantha - Heck yeah! This post makes me miss Milwaukee…especially all of the lake front festivals…

July 28, 2012 - 7:31 pm

Melissa (Alienbody) - Making these right now, although the yeast is being extremely uncooperative. My husband is home brewer and has had the pleasure of a Sean Paxton meal at the home brewers national conference last June in San Diego. I’m going to make the cheese sauce with our home brewed double IPA (which is, in a word, fantastic). Thanks for the recipe.

July 29, 2012 - 4:18 am

yumgoggle - Your cheese sauce looks so yummy! Pretzels definitely go with cheese sauce, no less. I am glad i can make my own cheese sauce, and my own pretzels too…This is awesome! can’t wait to try!
Anyhoo, we have just recently launched a food photo gallery that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. Your phenomenal photos have caught our attention. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

July 30, 2012 - 7:26 am

Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce (Milwaukee Style) | - […] View the article’s source Autor: srlacy […]

July 31, 2012 - 10:16 am

Ronja - A sauce made of beer and cheese??? woah!!!

September 4, 2012 - 11:44 pm

Christie - Is it possible to half this recipe

September 5, 2012 - 7:00 am

srlacy - Sure.

September 23, 2012 - 4:17 pm

Keziah - Made theses for Sunday football snacks. Needless to say, I think the hubby is DONE watching football! For tonight…anyway!! Excellent recipe! House smells great too! Thank you!

September 28, 2012 - 2:39 am

Kelsay - I made these and absolutely loved them. The dough turned out perfect. I didn’t use the cheese sauce and instead dipped with Dijon.

October 19, 2012 - 1:25 am

Ann - Can you make this in advance and reheat later? If so, what’s the best method for reheating both?

October 20, 2012 - 1:56 pm

srlacy - hi Ann
I didn’t try reheating the sauce but I assume you could. As far as the pretzel rolls, I did freeze them and they reheated in the microwave just fine.

November 3, 2012 - 8:52 am

Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce « elliek - […] Tuesday I made these Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce courtesy of The Curvy Carrot blog that I found on Pinterest! I had never made pretzels before! Did […]

November 25, 2012 - 8:21 pm

Lisa - I made the pretzel rolls they were super yummy I will make them again. However, the cheese sauce is holy cow STRONG! Now I like beer and I like IPAs but this cheese had such a strong IPA taste that we couldn’t taste the cheese. Simmering it for a 1/2 hour really intensifies the beer. If I make it again I will for sure use less beer or a much milder beer.

December 11, 2012 - 3:37 am

Pretzels with beer cheese sauce | driedredchillies - […] answering my “what should I eat today” question. She sent me this beautiful link from Curvy Carrot adding that If I was up for something elaborate then this is what I should […]

December 24, 2012 - 3:55 pm

NJG - I love IPAs and this cheese sauce was close to inedible due to the bitterness. Beware.

December 30, 2012 - 12:59 am

Kim - I just pulled a batch of these out of my oven and I must say the pretzels themselves are wonderful! The key ingredient must be the brown sugar instead of white. My son will probably devour a whole batch on his own which means I need to whip up another batch (I did them in the bread machine, by the way) before our friends come over for the Seahawks game tomorrow. They are SO good and I haven’t made the cheese sauce yet! I baked them at 425 for 10 minutes and they came out pretty brown, so I might reduce the temp to 400 and bake a little longer tomorrow. Oh and I cut the dough into 1/8’s and then rolled into logs and cut into 8 small pieces. I boiled for 2 min total and then dusted with kosher salt and baked. Hope the next batch turns out even better!

January 2, 2013 - 8:20 pm

Caryn - So I made only the cheese dip tonight. Mixed reviews. I thought it was good but my husband said it needed something and was bland. I added some garlic salt and pepper and more cheese than the recipe called for. I liked it but probably won’t make it again.

January 18, 2013 - 12:28 pm

Food Porn Friday, DERP! « Ermahgerd, Mershed Perderders! - […] Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce from the Curvy Carrot […]

January 21, 2013 - 1:14 am

Party Foods | Cats Can't Cook - […] go with these guys, I made some “beer” cheese. I followed this recipe, but used ginger ale instead of beer, I should have done ginger beer or something that was less […]

February 7, 2013 - 2:02 pm

The Best Run I've Had in Months - […] that the high will be 14-degrees today. Yikes. On my last note, I wanted to share that I made Pretzel Rolls w/Beer-Cheddar Sauce for “dinner” […]

March 15, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Friday Favorites | Iowa Girl Eats - […] dunk: Pretzel Rolls with Beer-Cheese Sauce. Ohhhh myyy gaawwwwsshh. I’d like to dip my entire arm in that cheese […]

March 23, 2013 - 7:05 pm

Homemade Soft Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce | Learn, Live, and Explore! - […] Cheese (modified from The Curvy Carrot) Ingredients 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped 4 tablespoons flour 2 […]

January 4, 2014 - 1:37 pm

The Best Run I’ve Had in Months - […] that the high will be 14-degrees today. Yikes. On my last note, I wanted to share that I made Pretzel Rolls w/Beer-Cheddar Sauce for “dinner” […]

January 8, 2014 - 8:16 pm

:beer cheddar soup. - - […] too. We toasted some simple french bread as the side. I wish however that I had remembered this recipe from Curvy Carrot. All that ale and cheese? Let’s be honest, it would have been amazing. Next […]

February 1, 2014 - 2:52 am

Ms Frau - Was wondering as you formed these into rolls, how long or thick are the rolls? Or is it not really particular?

February 1, 2014 - 3:46 am

Ms Frau - I think I answered my own question – when I saw the little piece with cheese, I thought you were forming the dough into little ropes and then small pieces…it wasn’t until I reread I realized that these were really like buns…I get it now…and can’t wait to try it.

February 3, 2014 - 5:46 pm

Pretzel rolls with beer cheese dipping sauce | tuppershare - […] rolls with beer-cheese dipping sauce (originally posted on The Curvy Carrot) For the […]

March 13, 2014 - 10:37 pm

CJ - I crave pretzel rolls whenever I see a pic of one – thank you for sharing the recipe (love soft pretzels with cheese dip)! Also love Milwaukee!

March 14, 2014 - 6:37 am

{GOOD EATS: 12 sweet & savoury beer recipes} | The Sweet Escape - […] 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 […]

April 28, 2014 - 6:51 pm
May 21, 2014 - 2:55 pm

Coconut Lime Tart and other recipes I made forever ago… | elliek - […] birthday party for Jeremy back in March (see how long it’s been!) and I made these Pretzel Rolls again for the party. They are the best right out of the oven but people still loved them! They are […]

August 22, 2014 - 8:38 pm

30+ Pretzel Recipes - Eclectic Momsense - […] Rolls- Bake Your Day Salted Pretzel Buns- My Life as a Mrs. Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce- The Curvy Carrot Sliced Pretzel Bread- Seeded at the Table Pretzel Hot Dog Buns- Amy Kay’s […]

February 1, 2015 - 5:29 pm

Emily - If you only read part of this comment this is the important stuff to know:
#1. Don’t use 2 cups of beer (unless maybe you are using something flavorless like miller light)
#2. Use a flavorful cheese

pretzel rolls are rising now, cheese dip is all cooked. I cut down the liquid becuase it seemed like a lot to me. I used half a bottle of beer and 3/4 cup cream. That’s plenty of liquid for me to make a thick cheesy sauce. Type of cheese is essential in this. If you use a bland mild cheddar you will get a bland dip. I used a two year aged cheddar and it gave it great dept of flavor. The other spices are nice and I didn’t change those at all. I only cooked it until the cream was warmed and thickened because there is no reason to Cook a cream sauce for as long as recommended. Dip can out warm, thick, rich, and cheesy. It is quite delicious, although with a bitter hint from the ipa I used. I might add a sprinkle of sugar when I heat it up in the crockpot for the game this afternoon.

February 3, 2015 - 12:23 am

Janette - you can’t go wrong putting these two things together! Thanks for the recipe! I am for sure going to try this out soon