Who loves a good dip. I’d be happy just dipping my pretzel into mustard truth be told, but I was thinking of a beer cheese dip a local restaurant near me serves; but it’s almost impossible to get a table there without waiting for an hour. It had me reminiscing the last time I’d had it, so decided to just whip one up. The pretzel recipe is one I’ve made before but this time I tweaked it a bit by baking the baking soda ahead of time. Yes, that’s right- you heard me right. I’d seen this trick posted several times on Pinterest and decided to give it a try and it did not disappoint. The reason for “baking” the baking soda [haha] is that it draws out some of the moisture and makes your pretzels darker like those of the German style that uses actual lye. Another trick is to use barley malt syrup-but if you’re like me I don’t particularly like to buy an ingredient I most likely won’t use again for something else and it will just take up space in the cupboard.
Cheesy Beer Dip
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
5 Tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
3/4 Cup milk, room temp or warmed slightly
2 1/2 tsp. spicy brown mustard (I used Guldens brand)
1 Cup lager beer, room temp (measure w/no foam) *[I used Four Peaks Kilt lifter Octoberfest] a local beer]
1 1/4 Cups pepper jack cheese shredded (use from a block and not pre-shredded)
1 1/4 Cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (use from a block and not pre-shredded)
Serve warm or at room temperature with soft pretzels.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter and then add the flour and the seasonings. Heat over medium-low heat to cook the flour mixture for about 5 minutes whisking the entire time. Add in the milk slowly whisking to avoid lumps until smooth, then whisk in the mustard. Slowly and gradually add in the beer whisking entire time and cook for about 3 minutes until appears thickened. Slowly stir in the cheeses with the whisk until combined and melted. Taste for seasoning; if you like your dip more zingy you could add in the finely diced jalapenos or hatch green chilis if you like.
For the pretzel bites; I used the same recipe as my soft buttered pretzels (click on my link below) but prepared the baking soda by laying out on a tinfoil lined sheet tray a cup of baking soda and “baked” that at 250 degrees F for one hour and then allowed the baking soda to cool. Use the same amount of baking soda that is called for in the recipe to ‘dip’ into the boiled water for prepping the pretzels and bake as directed. I simply portioned the dough and rolled into logs and cut off about 1 inch pieces. I used the same dipping method. For pretzel nibs I found it took me about 14 1/2 to 15 minutes to get my pretzel bites cooked thoroughly inside. Pull out your tray and sacrifice one to check for doneness.