Soft Homemade Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 12 pretzels and ~2 cups dip
 
Ingredients
  • Pretzels:
  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Coarse kosher salt for topping
  • Beer Cheese Dip:
  • 1.5 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 0.5 cups grated mozzarella
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (one block)
  • 1.5 TBS Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup beer (any kind, but I used Guinness Golden Ale)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Pretzels:
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tsp granulated sugar in 1¼ cup of warm water. Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Add the oil and dissolved yeast mixture and stir until a dough is formed. If mixture is too wet, sprinkle in the extra flour a little at a time until a nice smooth dough is formed. Knead dough until completely smooth, 5-8 minutes.
  4. Spray a clean mixing bowl with cooking spray or rub with oil. Place dough into the bowl, cover with a warm, damp dish towel and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. In a wide, shallow saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.
  7. Turn risen dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope ~15 inches in length. Twist together the end of each rope and then fold the twisted end up toward the rest of the pretzel and place onto baking sheet.
  8. Once all pretzels have been shaped, use a wide slotted spatula and dip each pretzel into the hot baking soda mixture for about 5 seconds. Let the water drain out and replace pretzels on the baking sheet. Top pretzels with a generous amount of coarse kosher salt.
  9. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 6-8 minutes.
  10. Beer Cheese Dip:
  11. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine all ingredients. Heat on medium-low heat until cheese starts to melt, stirring constantly.
  12. Continue to cook and stir until dip is hot and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm with pretzels.
Recipe by Brownie Bites Blog at http://www.browniebites.net/soft-homemade-pretzels-with-beer-cheese-dip/