Beer Cheese and Homemade Soft Pretzels

So the two of us had a hunger pain around 10 o’clock last night. Luckily, we had all the ingredients to make soft pretzels. Luckily again, we also had ingredients to make beer cheese for dipping.YUM. Here’s what you’ll need:

Beer Cheese:

6-8 oz bottled beer (we used Bush Signature)

2 cups shredded hot pepper blend or pepper jack cheese

1/2 cup mild cheddar

4 oz cream cheese

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 pinch of salt to taste

Bring beer to a boil in a medium sauce pan, on medium heat. Cube cream cheese and whisk into boiling beer. Whisk remainder of the cheese and Worcestershire sauce in on medium/low heat, whisking constantly. Serve hot.

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Now for the pretzels.

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 tbs or 1 packet active dry yeast

5 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup warm milk

5 tbs baking soda

2 tbs butter

Extra salt for the tops (optional)

1 tsp oil

3 1/2 cups water

Stir together warm water and yeast together, dissolving yeast. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, and sugar together. Pour flour mixture into water and yeast mixture. Add warm milk and mix together. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can use it, but we just mixed ours literally by hand.

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Place dough in a greased bowl. Store in warm dark place (we used our microwave) for 1 hour. Dough should roughly double in size. Remove dough from microwave and bowl, onto a very lightly floured surface. Divide into 9 sections and roll out each blob into a thin strip. Make them into pretzel shape.

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Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Let sit for 15 minutes. Outside of dough should feel slightly stiffer. Bring to a boil water and 5 tbs baking soda. *Make sure your water is really boiling good.* Drop in pretzels, on at a time for 15 seconds, or until pretzels have a sturdier shape and some wrinkles on the the outside of them. They will also appear a little bit darker or more yellow on the outside.

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Place boiled pretzels on a slightly greased baking sheet. Melt 2 tbs butter, and brush melted butter over each boiled pretzel. Salt if desired. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven and serve with a cold beer and your beer cheese.

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