Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip

This recipe is part of my Old Yale Series, a collection of recipes that I’ve created featuring beer from Chilliwack’s award-winning Old Yale Brewery. Details of my partnership with them (disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, but the views expressed are my own), and info on where you can find their beer can be found in the introduction to the first recipe of this series, my Beer-Battered Shrimp Po’ Boys.


I have to say that I feel truly blessed to live in the part of the world that I do. Out here in the Pacific Northwest there are so many things to be grateful for, not the least of which being the fantastic craft beer scene. Virtually every time my wife and I are even remotely within the  vicinity of a brewery we’ve yet to visit, we make sure to pop by for a flight. With the number of new breweries popping up in Vancouver alone, it’s made for a ton of tasty experiences.

What makes these little brewery visits even better though, is when they have great food options to go alongside the great beer. My favourite experiences I’ve had at craft breweries have always been the result of having some sort of food to pair with the drink. Of those food options, there’s one that just seems to go perfect alongside a flight or pint: soft pretzels.

Now, I have posted pretzel buns on this site before, linking back to the original recipe which is from Fleischmann’s; this is the same recipe, only with differing instructions on how to prepare the pretzels. The beer cheese dip is adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe. If you’d like to see the process, head on over to Old Yale’s site where I’ve broken down the steps with pictures.


Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip

Ingredients:

For the soft pretzels:2016-12-18-16-14-43

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus extra for kneading
  • 12 cups water
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tsp. water)

For the beer cheese dip:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Old Yale Off-Trail Pale Ale (or similar)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 9 oz. (~250 g.) grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp. Frank’s RedHot hot sauce (or more, as desired)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

For the soft pretzels:

  • Combine together the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the butter has just melted. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool slightly (if you have a thermometer, you’re looking at getting the liquids to about 110°)
  • In a large prep bowl, combine the liquids together with the brown sugar and yeast. Add in 2 cups of flour and beat for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the last cup of flour in several additions, mixing well with each addition. Once all the flour has been incorporated, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a bowl lightly greased with butter, cover with a clean dish towel, and place in the oven with the light turned on. Let rise for about 1 hour, during which it should double in size.
  • Prep your boiling solution by adding your 12 cups of water to a large pot along with the baking soda. Bring to a boil.
  • Remove the dough from the oven and place on a clean surface. Punch down the dough and cut into 8 roughly equal pieces. At this time you can go ahead and preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Roll out each piece of dough into a long rope, then twirl and pinch into a pretzel shape.
  • Working with two at a time, boil the pretzels for 2-3 minutes, flipping partway through. Remove with a slotted spoon or strainer and place on a greased baking sheet (or one lined with a silicon mat).
  • Once all pretzels have boiled in the solution, cut a few slits in each pretzel then brush with the egg wash.
  • Toss in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another 5-8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool before eating.

For the beer cheese dip:

  • Make the beer dip while the pretzels are baking. Have all your ingredients prepped ahead of time as the dip while require constant whisking throughout each step.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the milk and beer, then increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Add in the Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Turn the heat back down so that it’s just hot enough to maintain a light simmer (about medium). Cook for 6 minutes, during which time the mixture will begin to thicken.
  • Add in the cheese a handful at a time until it has all melted, then cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in the 2 tsp. Frank’s RedHot along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and seasonal additionally (including more hot sauce) if necessary.
  • For best results, serve dip while still hot.

Serves 4-8


soft-pretzels-and-beer-cheese-dip

** Updated 3/10/2017 **

This update is just to mention that I’ve shared this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday. The hosts for this week are Sarah James @ Tales From the Kitchen Shed who has recently posted a slow-cooker beef goulash that looks quite tasty, and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas, and Spoons who’s lamb tagine is right up my alley.

 

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