Sheet Pan Pretzel Focaccia with Cheese Sauce


Two wonderfully carb-y delights come together for the perfect party appetizer or game-day snack.

Sheet Pan Pretzel Focaccia with Cheese Sauce
Everything you love about focaccia and pretzels comes together in one. This game-day snack feeds a crowd and the pretzel hack is easier than you think. All you have to do is brush the dough with a hot baking soda mixture to get the pretzel effect. Go for the extra point and dunk it in the cheese sauce. Get the recipe:Sheet Pan Pretzel Focaccia with Cheese Sauce. Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Rise Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins
22 sticks

We gave an easy focaccia the pretzel treatment: Before baking, we brushed the dough with a hot baking soda mixture to get that pretzel-y golden exterior. It mimics the effect of boiling dough for that quintessential chewy pretzel tang. We topped this bread with flaky sea salt, which makes each bite fluffy, chewy, and salty. Serve with a mustard and parsley-spiked cheese sauce to take this party app over the top.

Party planning tip: Start this dough in the morning and it'll be ready by the time your guests arrive.


  • For the focaccia:

  • 1 ¾ cups warm water

  • 1 0.25-oz envelope active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)

  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 ½ teaspoons flaky sea salt, divided

  • For the cheese sauce:

  • 8 ounces grated white cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 cup half and half

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 teaspoon grain mustard

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves


  1. For the focaccia: Combine water and yeast in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix to combine. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 5 cups flour and salt in a large bowl.

  2. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes (dough will be shaggy).

  3. Add 2 tablespoons oil and continue to mix until absorbed, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is soft and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 5 minutes. (If dough is very sticky, add remaining ½ cup flour, one tablespoon at a time, until dough is smooth.) Transfer dough to a counter and shape into a ball.

  4. Wipe out the mixing bowl, grease with 2 teaspoons oil and add dough, turning to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

  5. Punch down on dough, remove from bowl, and transfer to the greased tray. Using your fingertips, press dough to the edges of the tray. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rest again until slightly risen, about 1 hour. Press all over the dough with your fingertips to create dimples in the dough.

  6. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a standard 13-by-18-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil.

  7. Just before baking, combine ¼ cup boiling water and baking soda (mixture will bubble), and brush on dough to cover the surface. (Discard remaining baking soda mixture.)

  8. Brush top of dough with egg and top with ¾ teaspoon flaky salt. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

  9. Brush focaccia with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and top with remaining ¾ teaspoon flaky salt. Let cool slightly while you make the cheese sauce.

  10. For the cheese sauce: Mix cheddar cheese and cornstarch in a bowl.

  11. Combine half and half, cream cheese, and mustard in a small saucepan and cook over medium, stirring frequently, until combined, about 2 minutes.

  12. Slowly add cheddar mixture, stirring throughout, until cheese is melted and sauce is thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley.

  13. Cut focaccia into 22 strips. Serve with warm cheese sauce.

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