So far, we’re really liking our new home. When we started moving boxes in, we got an invite for a pumpkin carving and potluck afternoon, so right away I felt a little more at home. The potluck was this last weekend. With an October/Oktober theme, I knew I wanted to bring homemade soft pretzels. Then my sister suggested I make a beer cheese dip to go with it and we were all set to go. The best beer cheese dip and some great mustards made us welcome members to the neighborhood! The soft pretzels were super yummy. They tasted like the real thing. And my many minutes of watching the pretzel-makers at Auntie Anne’s twirl pretzels finally came in handy!
homemade soft pretzels
Homemade pretzels are pretty freakin’ delicious. They have the same great taste as the ones you know, but you get total control over the crispiness (I like mine a little crispier) and the saltiness, which I also like a little more of!! A quick note – the recipe below says to line the pan with parchment paper and you really should. I forgot to with the first batch and ended up cutting them off the sheet pan. They were fairly intact, but it was frustrating.
best beer cheese dip for pretzels
I’m actually not a big beer person, but beer cheese is pretty stinkin delicious! I like using an IPA because it has that full-bodied flavor. You can use more or less depending on your preferences. Beer cheese dip sounds complicated, but it’s actually the easiest thing. And for a game day (not just Oktoberfest), it would be perfect with a bunch of recipes – not just homemade soft pretzels!!
HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS
These homemade soft pretzels are just as delicious as you’d hope. They’re slightly crunchy on the outside with a soft, chewy center. In fact, my husband might say this is his favorite recipe I make!
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups plus more flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- coarse sea salt
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup heaping baking soda
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper (see note above).
- Boil 8 cups of water and heaping 1/2 cup of baking soda.
- Beat eggs in a shallow bowl, wide enough for the pretzels.
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl with high sides. Stir about one minute to mix thoroughly. Add salt and sugar. Stir to combine. Add flour, one cup at a time to yeast mixture. Mix using a wooden spoon until thick (each addition of flour makes stirring more difficult). Continue adding 1/2 cup flour until dough is no longer sticky.
- On a floured surface or in the bowl, knead dough for 2-3 minutes. Shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut dough into 18 equal pieces.
- Roll each dough piece into a rope. Grab ends of rope and curl rope into a circle. Twist rope ends once and stick them to bottom of pretzel. They don't have to be mashed together, but a few pinches at each connection makes the rest of the process much easier.
- Dunk the pretzels 1-2 at a time into baking soda bath for 30 seconds.
- Using a spatula or spoon with holes makes dunking and removing the pretzels from the hot bath much easier.
- Dunk both side of the pretzels into egg wash. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes for desired doneness.
BEST IPA BEER CHEESE DIP
I never thought about cheese dip until I researched a recipe for homemade soft pretzels for an Oktoberfest-themed party. Now we can’t imagine one without the other. Use your favorite bold beer in this recipe. We love it with IPA!
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 3/4 Cup IPA or other dark beer
- 1 teaspoon deli mustard
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce to taste (I added a few dashes and didn't get a spicy flavor at all) 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add the flour and stir constantly until thoroughly combined.
- Slowly whisk in milk and beer. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer - it will be foamy. Add the mustard, worcestershire, and hot sauce.
- Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
- Add cheese into mixture one handful at a time, melting completely between each addition. Serve immediately. Dip will thicken as it cools.