Sourdough Soft Pretzels with Stout Beer Cheese Dip
Do you still need an appetizer for the 4th? Here’s one that will make a hit with your friends and family – Sourdough pretzels and dip!
I made the pretzels into sticks. They are a more manageable portion and so much easier to push into the thick, cheesy, beer and mustard dip!
What you need:
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon baker’s yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup stout beer (porter will also work)
- 2 ½ to 3 cups flour
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 3 – 4 quarts of water
- ½ baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten slightly
- Coarse salt (pretzel salt)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup stout beer (or porter)
- 1 Tablespoon coarse grained mustard
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ cup milk or cream
- 2 cups grated cheddar
How to Do it:
To make the pretzels –
Mix the starter, sugar, salt, yeast and beer. Cover and let sit in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Melt the butter. Stir 2 ½ flour into the starter mixture and slowly mix in the cooled, melted butter. Gently knead to mix all the ingredients together well. You should have a moist, but firm roll of dough. If it’s too wet, add the remaining flour.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Depending on the weather, this could take anywhere from 3 hours to overnight (sourdough rises slowly).
When it has doubled, turn out onto a floured surface and knead 9 – 10 times to make a smooth dough. Return to a clean bowl, cover and let rise another hour or two. It won’t rise a lot this time.
Turn out onto a floured board and roll to about ¾ to 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into strips – 1 inch wide and 4 inches long.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Bring the water to a boil and add the baking soda. When there is a rolling boil, gently add the pretzel sticks, one at a time, and boil for about 1 minute. They will come up to the top when they are ready.
Remove from the water and drain on a clean dish towel. Place the strips on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg, then the salt.
Place in a preheated oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, until they are a rich, golden brown. Set on a cooling rack when done.
While the pretzels are baking, make the cheese dip.
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Stir in the flour and cook until the flour is just slightly starting to brown. Using a whisk, stir in the beer, paprika, and mustard.
When it is blended, add the milk and continue to whisk until it is all mixed together and starting to thicken.
With a wooden spoon, stir in the cheese and continue to stir until it is all melted. You can add salt and pepper to taste if you like. Also, a touch of cayenne is also good.
Serve the warm pretzels and sauce together, or store airtight in the refrigerator and reheat.
Makes about 12 pretzels.
Note: the alcohol cooks out of both the pretzels and the dip, leaving behind the rich malty flavors of the beer.
© Copyright 2018 The Lazy Gastronome
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