1packet quick or rapid rise yeastabout 2 1/4 teaspoons
3 ¾ - 4 ¼cupsall-purpose flourplus additional
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Beer Cheese Dip
4ouncesshredded Cheddar Jack
2ouncesof an Amber AleI used Fat Tire
pinchof Cayenne peppermore if you like spicy
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Homemade Pretzel Bites
Preheat oven to 425°F and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment.
Pour the warm water into a large bowl and place the yeast into the warm water. Stir with a spoon to dissolve, about one minute. It is ok if some yeast clumps remain.
Stir in the salt and sugar until well mixed.
Gradually add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Using a wooden spoon, mix until dough is thick.
Add and additional 3/4 cup of flour until dough no longer feels sticky. If need be, add 1/2 cup more of flour. The dough will be ready to knead when bounces back when poked with a finger.
Generously flour your work surface and knead the dough for about 3 minutes.
Using a sharp knife, pastry cutter or dough scraper, cut sections of the dough about 1/3 cup size.
Roll the dough into a rope, making sure it is even in thickness and cut into 1 - 1 1/2- inch sections.
Mix the 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup of baking soda in a pot. Bring to a boil.
Gently place about 10 - 15 dough pieces into the pot. Boil for a count of 20 - 30 seconds, but no longer as it could affect the taste. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place onto prepared baking sheet.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and individually coat the pretzel pieces with it. Return to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
Bake for 10 minutes. Without removing the baking sheet, turn the oven to broil and bake for 3 - 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely as they could darken very quickly.
Cool slightly before serving.
Beer Cheese Dip
In a small saucepan, combine the Cheddar Jack, your ale of choice, cream cheese, paprika, and Cayenne pepper.
Stir until melted and smooth.
Serve with pretzels.
We found that the pretzels and the cheese tasted best the same day they were made.
To increase the amount of Cheese Sauce for a larger crowd, use the following proportions:
Amber Ale - 1 part
Cream Cheese - 1 Part
Cheddar Jack - 2 parts
increase Paprika by 1/4 teaspoon and add Cayenne pepper to taste.