Let me be just throw this disclaimer out there: I love anything that has to do with spicy cheese dip. I could dip my shoe in it and I would probably be happy. Yes, I am a lover of cheese. And soft pretzels. Spicy cheese and salty soft pretzels? Its a dream. But could I make them myself? I'm not sure.
Working with yeast has always scared me. I have felt it is a bit... above me. However, with practice, I am sure I will get better, and with time, my ultimate goal is to make a "soft on the inside" loaf of bread.
The way I like my soft pretzels it with slight crisp on the outside, and a very soft warm inside. So that is what I sought out to make.
Here is what you will need:
For the pretzels:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (not boiling, just very warm)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- Kosher salt to sprinkle on top
2. Mix together the warm water, yeast, sugar and salt
3. Put the dough hook on your mixer, and add in the flour and butter, mixing for about 5 minutes, until you can easily pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl. If you need to, knead it a bit with your hands.
4. Oil a bowl, and place dough inside and cover tightly with clear plastic wrap. Let sit on the counter for 50-55 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
5. While the oven is preheating, start boiling the 10 cups of water and baking soda combo. Cut the dough into 6 equal parts. Roll these each into an 18 inch roll and cut them into small pieces.
6. Place a handful into a spoon, and lower into the boiling water. Boil for about 30 seconds. Take out and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Do this until you have all the pieces onto the baking sheets.
7. Melt some butter, and brush onto the bites. Sprinkle kosher salt on top.
8. Bake for about 12 minutes. Watch carefully as the timing will depend on how brown you like them.
Spicy Cheese Sauce:
**You can eliminate the spice, and it will still be real yummy. My directions below do not make this very spicy at all, so you can also add more as well!
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used the bagged kind, and it worked great)
- 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- 1 teaspoon of bottled hot pepper sauce
- 2 shakes of tabasco
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Bring milk and butter to a boil. Add cheese. Stir/whisk until smooth. Lower heat and stir in rest of ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well. Be very careful as it is very easy to burn in the bottom of the pan.
If you would like less spice: do not add tabasco or cayenne
If you would like more spice: add more tabasco and/or cayenne