1. In a microwavable bowl, warm up milk for 45 seconds. Once warm, sprinkle in yeast and let sit for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in brown sugar, and set aside until foamy - about five minutes. (Tip: You may take this time to explain to your child that the yeas is essentially "eating" the sugar and transforming it into energy, as seen in the appearing bubbles. This tiny process ensures the pretzel rolls will rise and be fluffy!)
2. Mix the pretzel dough in a stand mixter fitted with a dough hook. Combine 2 1/2 cups flower and fine salt, mixing on low. Add in yeast mixture and softened butter. Mix until smooth, slightly sticky dough forms.
3. Add dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for an hour at room temperature. Once risen, place dough on floured surface. (Tip: Take a photo of your dough before it sits. When you compare this "before" photo to the risen dough an hour later, it should doubled in size!"
4. Roll dough into a log and cut into 2-inch pieces. (Tip: Use butter knife to cut the dough. Use first pieces to measure the rest.)
5. Roll dough pieces into ropes.
6. Twist ropes into your best pretzel shapes (Tip: Get your little ones involved, and let create their own perfectly imperfect pretzel rolls. Be sure to take photos of them hard at work)
7. Place rolls onto baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate two hours, until puffy.
8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, whisk together baking soda, 1/4 coarse sea salt, and 3 cups of water. Bring a slight boil. Add rolls to cook for 1 minute, flipping halfway through so mixture coats entire roll.
9. Recoat baking sheet with cooking spray. Beat egg and brush a light layer on top of each roll. Sprinkle with remaining coarse sea salt or pretzel salt, and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
10. When pretzels are done and cooling down, roll out two cloves garlic with garlic peeler. Mince. Place garlic and 1/2 stick of butter in a small sauce pan. Melt butter and cook until garlic is fragrant. Enjoy cooled pretzels with garlic butter !
Directions for Homemade Cheese Sauce
1) In a small sauce pan, warm 2 cups whole milk
2) In another sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until paste forms. Slowly whisk in warm milk, creating a thick sauce. Continue whisking, while adding 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and pinch of salt. Whisk to achieve smooth, cheesy texture.
3. Enjoy warm.