Beer Based Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce
New favorite party food! I am in love with making pretzels. This is serious food for serious party food lovers. So easy to make, so much fun to make, no mystery at all, I won’t need to wait to have them at an airport terminal or otherwise! I can just make them!
Often times we get invited to an impromptu party or have impromptu guests show up, how much fun is that? Lots of fun, but what about a great plate of food to offer to your hostess or a quick delicious food to keep everyone happy and busy while you put the last touches on supper. Granted, these pretzels are filling, so what about during playoffs and the evenings watching the Olympics with family. They are perfect, perfection reincarnated. I think traditionally, they are often served with a sweet or spicy mustard or cheese sauce.
Since I am using beer for the pretzels themselves, I decided to base my cheese sauce on beer, adding zesty and hot components to bring it to a good balance of yumminess with a kick to the palate.
FaC Pretzels With Beer Cheese Sauce
12 oz. bottle of a good dark or pale ale type beer
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 package or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
¼ c. butter, melted
4 ½ c. unbleached flour
For first step of cooking
10 cups water
⅔ cups baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Kosher salt for topping
Warm the beer to 105°-110° degrees.
Using the dough hook of your stand mixer, add the warm beer, sugar, kosher salt, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for five minutes or till it is foaming.
Add the butter and the flour. Using low to medium speed, mix your batter till it comes together. Increase the speed and beat for a good 4 minutes.
Dough should be smooth and clinging to the dough hook, not tacky and sticking to the bowl, if so, add another ¼ cup flour and continue mixing.
Lightly oil a clean bowl and form a ball with your dough, place it smooth side down in the bowl, twist it around and flip so top is now lightly oiled. Cover and let it right till double in size.
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or sprinkle with corn meal.
In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil.
Meanwhile, shape pretzels. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and divide into 12
pieces. Roll the dough out into a 18-inch rope. Bring the two ends of the rope up to form a U shape. Twist the two end pieces around each other once, then cross the end pieces back down to the bottom of the U to complete the pretzel shape. See my photos.
When all pretzels are shaped, add them 3 at a time to the pot of boiling water, allow them to boil for 30 seconds. Then remove from the water with a spider or large spatula and place on the baking sheets.
Brush each pretzel with the egg mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until browned.
Serve with beer cheese dip (below).
Beer Cheese Dip
½ c. beer (I used a lager)
1 grey shallot, finely diced
¾ c. grated cheddar
4 oz. or ½ c. cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
¾ c. grated mozzarella
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½. tsp chili flakes
1 tsp. smoked paprika
a few dashes hot sauce of your choice
1 tbsp. finely diced jalapeño without seeds
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
Place all your cheese in a bowl or board and sprinkle the cornstarch over it, mix thoroughly.
Over the stove top and medium heat, bring the beer with the shallots and mustard to a simmer, lower the heat and start adding the cheese mix. Do this slowly, very slowly. Stir gently as you add the cheese, once the cheese has melted, add the rest of the ingredients and stir till combined. Keep warm till ready to use.
All Important Tips
- Let your dough rest before shaping pretzels
- Do not skip the baking soda in the water