How to make em’ and what to dip em’ in
Pretzels are possibly one of the few snacks that come in several different textures, shapes, and sizes. You can find smaller crunchy pretzels in bags in the chip aisle of the grocery store. You can find large soft pretzels in boxes in the freezer section ready to be baked. Whichever your pleasure, pretzels are a delicious snack that is often accompanied by equally delicious dips or salsas.
Homemade Soft Pretzels (Copycat Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Recipe)
If you’re lucky enough I have a pretzel stand in the mall it is probably Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. There is nothing like them!
- 2 cups (470ml) milk (I used 2%)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
- 6 Tbsp (75g) packed light-brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp (56g) butter, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups (635g) all-purpose flour, plus an up to an additional 1/2 cup as needed
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 3 cups (710ml) warm water
- coarse salt, to taste
- 6 Tbsp (56g) butter, melted
Dipping sauce for serving, optional*
- Warm milk in a microwave s-safe bowl in a microwave (or alternately over the stovetop in a small saucepan) until the temperature of milk reaches 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on HIGH power.
- Pour milk along with yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk together until yeast has dissolved, let rest 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, 4 tbsp softened butter, 1 cup flour and 2 tsp fine sea salt to the milk mixture and using the whisk attachment, stir until blended.
- Switch attachment to a dough hook, add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour and knead mixture on medium-low speed until elastic.
- Mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup flour, as needed, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (alternately you could grease them). Punch dough down several times to release any air pockets.
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces* and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Roll each piece out into a long, thin rope about 32 – 36 inches long**. Form dough rope into a pretzel shape.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water then fully immerse pretzel into the water mixture, lift and allow excess water to drip off***.
- Place on a prepared baking sheet, reshape as needed and sprinkle to taste with coarse salt. Repeat this process with remaining dough.
- Bake pretzels in a preheated oven 7 – 11 minutes until golden brown (note that you will likely only be able to cook 6 at a time among the two baking sheets) Remove from oven and brush top and bottom of pretzels with melted butter.
- Serve warm with optional dipping sauce. Reheat in the microwave or in a warm oven once they’ve cooled if desired.
Beer Cheese Pretzel Dip
This beer cheese dip recipe pairs beautifully with soft pretzels such as the recipe listed above. Or, you can make it easy on yourself and use pretzel chips or premade soft pretzels from the grocery store and then make this cheese dip from scratch!
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 (1 ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup beer, or as needed
- seasoned salt to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mash the cream cheese with the ranch dressing mix until thoroughly combined, then stir in the Cheddar cheese. Mix in beer, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency (add more for a thinner dip). Stir in the seasoned salt and cayenne pepper. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.