Who doesn’t love pretzels? One of the best things about visiting Germany cities is the hot pretzels that are sold by street vendors on just about every corner. But since we can’t always visit Germany wen the cravings strike, I’ve taken to making my own homemade hot buttered pretzels. They are so good and disappear in minutes. For a change of pace, or when I want to feed a crowd, I’ve taken to making smaller, pretzel bites which are just as tasty. Also from King Arthur Flour, these little pretzels are almost as good as what you find on German street corners. I like to make mine savory and dip them in a hot beer and cheese sauce. If that isn’t your thing you can skip the salt coating and use a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. And while your at it, make a double batch. They are that good and disappear that quickly.
PRETZEL BITES w/ CHEDDAR & GUINNESS DIPPING SAUCE
For the pretzels:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
For the topping:
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the dipping sauce:
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsps flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Guinness Stout
2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
- To make the pretzel dough, place the flour, salt, yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, beat all of the ingredients until well combined.
- Knead the dough, either by mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Flour the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, combine the boiling water and baking soda in a large shallow dish, mixing until the soda is dissolved.
- Set aside and cool to at least lukewarm temperature (or cooler).
- Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into six equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a 12 to 15 inch rope. Cut each rope crosswise into 12 pieces.
- Place each piece of dough into the water and baking soda mixture, gently swish them around and allow them to sit for a few minutes.
- Transfer the dough pieces to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Remove the bites from the oven then roll them in the melted butter.
- Place on a rack to cool slightly while you make the cheese sauce.
- They taste best when eaten right away but you can also store them in an air tight container at room temperature for a couple of days. Reheat before serving.
To make the cheese sauce:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add the flour, stir well and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the milk and whisking constantly, cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Add the beer and stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the grated cheese by the handful, stirring well after each addition.
- Serve immediately with the pretzel bites.
Yields: 6 dozen bites and 2 cups of cheese sauce