SOFT PRETZEL BITES WITH BEER CHEESE DIP
IngredientsServes 5 dozen pretzel bites
1½ cups (375 ml) warm water
2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
1 package (2¼ tsp) dry yeast
⅓ cup (75 ml) butter, me
2½ tsp (12 ml) salt
4½ cups (1 L + 125 ml) all-purpose flour
16 cups (4 L) water
½ cup (125 ml) baking soda
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp (30 ml) coarse sea salt
BEER CHEESE DIP:
1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
1 tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 ml) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml) evaporated milk
¼ cup (60 ml) beer (lager, darker ale or stout work best)
1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) mustard powder
¼ tsp (1 ml) paprika
¼ tsp (1 ml) cayenne
½ tsp (2 ml) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 ml) cornstarch
1 cup (250 ml) mild cheddar cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- To make PRETZELS: In bowl of a standard mixer, mix warm water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add butter, salt and flour and mix with dough hook attachment on low speed until combined. Continue mixing for 10 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from sides of the bowl.
- Grease a separate bowl with vegetable oil, add dough and coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Alternatively, let rise overnight in fridge.
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope about 1-in (2.5 cm) thick. Cut ropes into 1-in (2.5 cm) pieces.
- In a large pot, bring 16 cups (4 L) of water to a boil, then turn down heat to medium and carefully add baking soda. Take care, as water will rise up. Turn heat back to high and return water to a boil.
- Drop 12 to 15 pieces of dough into water and boil for about 30 seconds. Remove pretzel bites with a large slotted spoon and drain. Lay bites on baking sheet, at least 2-in (5 cm) apart. Continue working until all pretzels have been boiled.
- Brush pretzels with egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with hot Beer Cheese Dip. These can also be made ahead and reheated.
- To make BEER CHEESE DIP: In a medium-sized pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir until no lumps remain.
- Mix milk, evaporated milk and beer together. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture, about ¼ cup (60 ml) at a time. Add Worcestershire, mustard powder, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder. Turn heat down to low and cook for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon or heatsafe spatula, so sauce doesn’t stick to bottom of pot.
- In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and cheese. Add cheese mix to dip, mix until incorporated. Turn off heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 1 cup (250 ml) of dip.