I’ve never thought to make pretzels and cheese dip at home because, well, I’d have to eat it all! It’s hard to make a single serving of cheese dip! This is more of a recipe that you want to make when you have a bunch of friends coming over. You know, for game day or a baby shower. I’m sure pregnant ladies like cheese dip.
In addition to the classic pretzel sticks and cheese dip, I thought I would make one of the sweeter treats too. Using the same recipe as the sticks, I threw some raisins in the dough and topped the baked pretzels with butter and cinnamon sugar. The versatility of the dough is perfect. Next time I’m thinking of adding the cheese to the dough and making a spicy mustard!
One Year Ago: Apricot-garlic Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes and Fennel
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Brownies
Three Years Ago: Pork, Cranberry & Pear Salad
For the Sponge
1/2 teaspoon dried instant yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cup warm water
For the dough
1/4 teaspoon dried instant yeast
1 3/4 cup bread flour plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
For the boiling pot & bake
4 quarts water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 egg, beaten
Kosher or pretzel salt
For cinnamon-raisin pretzels
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar
In a large bowl, combine ingredients for the sponge. Stir until smooth, like pancake batter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours.
Add yeast, 1 3/4 cups flour, salt and brown sugar to the sponge and stir until combined and form a ball. (Add raisins if using) Work in remaining 2 tablespoons flour to form a stiff dough. Knead dough by hand for 10 minutes (or 6 minutes in the stand mixer with a dough hook). Divide into 6 pieces of equal weight (about 4.5 ounces) and let rest for 20 minutes.
Form each piece into a long rope, about 24 inches long. For pretzel sticks, cut the rope into 2-inch pieces. For pretzels, form into the classic knot shape (see great pictures here). Cover pretzels with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 ºF. Place a baking stone in the oven along with a broiler pan.
Bring pot of water to a boil and add baking soda and cream of tartar. Be careful, it will bubble up! Boil pretzel sticks in small batches for 2 minutes, flip and boil for another minute. Boil large pretzels one at a time for 2 minutes, flip and boil for another minute. Remove from the bath to a kitchen towel dusted with flour. Let dry for 5 minutes before moving to a baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.
Bake on the baking sheet, or slide onto hot baking stone. Pour 1 cup hot water into the broiler pan and close the oven door. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
For cinnamon-raisin pretzels, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Enjoy hot!