Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce

Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce

Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce

If you’re a pretzel and beer fan, you know that the two are a match made for one another. This recipe pairs dense, chewy rye pretzels with a beer-based cheese sauce, yielding the ultimate pretzel snack to serve as an appetizer or crowd-pleaser at a party.

Prep
45 mins
Bake
18 to 22 mins
Total
10 hrs 10 mins
Yield
10 pretzels
Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce - select to zoom
Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce - select to zoom
Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce - select to zoom
Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce - select to zoom
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Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl combine the flours, salt, and yeast. Stir in the beer, water, honey, and butter.

  2. Turn the rough dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead it briefly, just enough to bring it together in a cohesive mass. You can also do this right in the mixing bowl, if you choose. The dough will be stiff, yet still sticky. That's OK; don't add any additional flour.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 2
  3. Cover the bowl and place it somewhere warm. After 30 minutes, run a bowl scraper, spatula, or your fingers down the inside far wall of the bowl, bring the dough up from the bottom, and fold it over on top of itself. Repeat three times, rotating the bowl 90° each time. 

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 3
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes before refrigerating for 8 to 16 hours.

  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, divide it into 10 pieces.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 5
  6. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Let the dough balls rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 6
  7. To shape pretzels: Form each dough ball into a 5" log. 

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 7
  8. Roll the logs into 22" ropes, leaving a fatter portion in the center about 6" long. 

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 8
  9. Twist each rope into a pretzel. Place the pretzels on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Don't crowd them; they're going to expand somewhat. 

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 9
  10. Cover the pretzels and let them rest and rise at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 10
  11. After the rest, chill the pretzels in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes; this helps to firm them up and makes them easier to dip (though you can skip this step if you’re pressed for time). While the pretzels are chilling, make the cheese sauce.

  12. To make the cheese sauce: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook the mixture for about 30 seconds. 

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 12
  13. Add the mustard or mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce. 

  14. Slowly pour in the beer, whisking to incorporate. Once the sauce is smooth, remove the pan from the heat. 

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 14
  15. Add the cream cheese, stirring to incorporate the pieces as they melt. Stir in the cheddar cheese. It won’t fully melt; that’s OK. Set the sauce aside to cool.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 15
  16. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

  17. To finish and bake the pretzels: Prepare the water bath by combining the boiling water with the baking soda in a shallow dish or pan, stirring to dissolve the baking soda as best you can. Let cool until you’re ready to soak the pretzels. 

  18. Place the pretzels into the water bath and allow them to soak for about 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels, letting the excess water drip off before placing them back on the baking sheet.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 18
  19. Top the pretzels with coarse kosher or pretzel salt. Using a sharp knife or lame, slash each pretzel horizontally across its base.  

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 19
  20. Bake the pretzels for 18 to 22 minutes, until deeply browned. 

  21. To serve the pretzels: Rewarm the cheese sauce in the saucepan or microwave until hot; the cheddar cheese will melt, making a smooth sauce. 

  22. Serve pretzels warm or at room temperature with the hot cheese sauce.

    Rye Pretzels with Cheesy Beer Sauce – Step 22
  23. Storage information: Store pretzels, well-wrapped, for up to 3 days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Looking to take your pretzels to a new, delicious level? Try making Stuffed Pretzel Buns, a riff on this recipe that results in mini deep-dish pizzas with a touch of classic pretzel flavor. 

  • Interested in baking these pretzels with lye instead of baking soda? While wearing eye protection and rubber or latex gloves, mix 20g food-grade lye into a non-reactive bowl holding 500g cold water and stir to dissolve. Transfer your shaped pretzel to the bath and let soak for 10 to 15 seconds. Place the pretzel on a stainless steel rack over parchment to catch any excess solution. After a few minutes, transfer the dipped pretzel to a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. The dough can then be scored, salted, and baked. To dispose of the diluted lye solution, pour it directly down the drain, then follow with a few seconds of cold water from the sink faucet. For a guide to using lye in your baking, see our blog post, A baker’s tips for safely working with lye.