Making pretzels by hand is so satisfying and, surprisingly, not difficult. They are a tasty accompaniment to a lager or ale for any crowd.
Hands-on Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Makes: 10 to 12 servings
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 ½ cups warm water (100° F to 110° F)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
4 cups Simply Milled™ Organic or Traditional All-Purpose Flour (approx.)
6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
5 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
½ cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ tsp coarse salt
Beer Cheese Dip:
1 clove garlic, halved
½ cup lager beer
½ cup cream cheese
1 cup shredded aged Cheddar cheese
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
Pinch of pepper
Pretzel salt or coarse sea salt (optional)
1. Dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over top; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
2. Stir in honey and salt. Add 3 ¾ cups of flour, one cup at time, to make sticky dough.
3. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead dough until no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed. Form into ball and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
4. Punch down dough and divide into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece into 10-inch rope.
5. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Mix together bacon and jalapeño. Flatten pieces slightly; place bacon and jalapeño mixture evenly in the center. Pinch edges together and re-roll. Cover and let stand on flour-dusted baking sheet for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 425°F. In large pot, boil 10 cups of water; add baking soda. Let fizziness subside; boil pretzel bites, in batches of 10, for 20 seconds. Place on parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Brush with egg, and sprinkle with salt.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Beer Cheese Dip: Rub small saucepan with garlic. Add garlic and beer to pan; bring to simmer over medium heat. Stir in cream cheese until blended. Stir in Cheddar, paprika, garlic powder and pepper until smooth. Remove garlic. Sprinkle with salt (if using). Serve with pretzel bites.
• Replace the dip with prepared honey mustard for an alternative serving idea.