Check out the Beer Brats with Onions (next recipe) that go so well with these pretzels!!
First, make the pretzels…
Prep Step! Measure out all of your ingredients, for both recipes. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Set your water and baking soda to boil over high heat. Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper.
Make the pretzels. In a large bowl, mix the yeast into the warm water, and let it set for about 15 minutes. Whisk in the butter, sugar, and salt. Next, slowly add the flour as your stir the mixture.
On a surface dusted with flour, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until it is not sticky and is super stretchy. This means that the gluten bonds are forming appropriately. This is my favorite step – I definitely recommend whipping up a batch if you’re ever stressed out!
Put the kneaded dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let set for another ten minutes.
Now, pinch off a handful of dough. Roll and stretch it until it is a long tube, about 20 inches. Fold it into a “U” shape, then twist the end. Fold over the ends until it makes a recognizable pretzel shape.
Make sure that the water is at a rolling boil. Have your baking sheet ready. Place the pretzels, one at a time, on a slotted spoon, and dip into the water for 30 seconds. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and bake for about15 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Next, make the cheese dip…
Prep Step! Measure out your ingredients.
First, we make a roux! Melt the butter in a pot. Slowly whisk in the flour. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the roux is a little brown; this means that the flour has cooked well. Whisk in the beer and cook until the mixture has become thicker. Add and stir in the cream cheese. When it is fully incorporated, mix in the cheese and stir until it is all melted.
Add the half and half until the cheese is the consistency you want for dipping. Now, this is usually where the recipe stops. But please add salt, pepper, mustard, paprika… whatever you want until the taste is just perfect for you! Serve warm with the hot pretzels!