Tailgating Tuesdays--Homemade Soft Pretzels with Jalapeño Beer Cheese Dip

Welcome back to another installment of Tailgating Tuesdays.  I'm loving all the feedback from the last post and can't wait to hear more about your favorite Tailgating Ideas and Recipes. How did your team do over the weekend?  Our Tigers played great and the Saints gave their  all--so happiness abounded all around. Well, whatever the outcome, you will always be a winner with these Homemade Soft Pretzels and Jalapeño Beer Cheese Dip.  I think you are going to love it.

I've never made homemade pretzels before and was a little intimated.  I read tons of recipes about making them and found this one from Fox and Briar, which convinced me that I could do it. It really wasn't all that hard.  And the outcome was far more delicious than I could have hoped. The idea for this post started off with just a craving, a craving for my tried and true 3-Cheese Jalapeño Beer Cheese Dip. I had a problem though. I'm allergic to corn, which means no corn chips to dip with.  I often use Bean Chips, and they really are delicious, but I wanted something different.  So I started thinking how about pretzels.  Since I wanted to share something special--I decided to make them myself. (If you aren't feeling up to tackling the pretzels you definitely could buy premade pretzels, no judgment here.)

Yield: 8Author: LouLou Sucre

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Jalapeño Beer Cheese


For the pretzels: (recipe from Fox & Briar)
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of beer (I used Fat Tire)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • kosher salt for topping
  • olive oil for bowl
For the Jalapeño Beer Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup beer (I used Fat Tire)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces white Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • jalapeño slices for garnish


To make the pretzels:
  1. Warm the beer is a small pan to 110-115 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, add the warm beer, sugar, salt.  Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes, or until it starts to get foamy.
  3. Add the butter and the flour.  Turn the mixer to low to medium speed and mix until the dough comes together.  
  4. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and clinging to the dough hook, not the side of the bowl.
  5. In a clean bowl, add enough olive oil to coat the inside of the bowl.  Quickly form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning once to coat the dough well.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, then allow to rise for about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.  (See my full-proof way for dought to rise here.)
  7. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  8. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil.
  10. Meanwhile, shape the pretzels. Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and divide into 8 pieces.  Flatten each piece into a rectangle, then roll into a cigar shape.  Pinch the seams together,  Then roll the dough out into a 24-inch rope.  Bring the two ends of the rope up to form a "U" shape, Twist the two end pieces around each other once, then cross the end pieces back down to the bottom of the "U" to complete the pretzel shape.
  11. When all the pretzels are shaped, add them two at a time to the pot of boiling water, all them to boil for 30 seconds.  Remove them from the water with a spider or a large spatula and place on the baking sheets.
  12. Brush each pretzel with the egg mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt,
  13. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned.
To make the Jalapeño Beer Cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions until just starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the jalapeños and garlic.  Cook until just softened, about 5 more minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with flour and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the beer and cream, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
  4. Add the cheeses, about 1 cup at a time, allowing the cheese to melt completely before adding more.  Stir until all of the cheese is completely melted.  Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
  5. Preheat the broiler to high.  Add the jalapeño slices to the top of the cheese and place the pan under the broiler and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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(This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no extra cost to you I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  None of this is sponsored and these products were purchased by me. To read LouLouSucre's full disclosure policy please click here.)

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