We’re of the opinion that homemade is better, even when it comes to snacks. And when it comes to snacks, soft pretzels are pretty high on the totem pole. This Pretzel Bites with Cheddar Beer Sauce recipe couldn’t be easier – take pizza dough (store bought or your fave recipes) – dunk them in a mix that give it that distinct taste and there you have it. Oh, and obviously they’re paired with a cheese sauce. And obviously, our take on that is a beer cheese sauce. Only thing missing is a tailgate.
Pretzel Bites with Cheddar Beer Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound fresh white or whole wheat pizza dough
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup barley malt syrup (optional)
- Coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose or white whole wheat flour plus more for rolling the dough
- 3/4 cup lager beer
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard (optional)
- 8 ounces shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese or a Mexican cheese blend
- Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 12-inch-long rope then cut each rope crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the dough pieces on a parchment paper or wax paper-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat and add baking soda and, if using, the barley malt syrup (the mixture will foam at first and then subside) and stir to dissolve the syrup. Remove the water from the stove, and carefully dip each bite (use a slotted spoon) into the mixture until it's just coated (this is what helps it look and taste like a pretzel).
- Transfer bites to baking sheets and immediately sprinkle with coarse salt before they dry (otherwise the salt won’t stick). Repeat with remaining pretzel pieces, making sure to return the water to a boil before cooking more pretzel bites. Bake pretzel bites until deep they are brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer pretzel bites to wire racks to cool while you make the cheese sauce.
- For the cheese sauce: Combine the butter and flour in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the beer and the mustard until evenly combined. Add the cheese to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Serve with pretzel bites.