1 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water plus 2 to 3 TBSP extra water if needed for dough
2 packages active dry yeast
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse salt for sprinkling
½ cup baking soda
8 cups water
Add the 2 packages of yeast and 1 tsp sugar to the 1 cup warm water. Let sit 5 minutes. In the bowl of your mixer, add 4 cups of flour and the 2 tsp salt. Pour the yeast mixture and softened butter into the flour and attach dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough starts to hold together. You may need to add a few more tablespoons of water. Once the dough has taken shape, mix on medium speed 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the dough from the hook and leave dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and put somewhere warm for 45 to 60 minutes. It should be about double in size.
Cut the dough into approximately 10 pieces, give or take one or two, depending on how big you want them. Roll each dough ball into a 20 inch long rope (approximately). You will want to roll the strip of dough while moving your hands slowly apart from each other to stretch the rope out. Be careful you don’t break it. Form each dough rope into a pretzel shape and place on a cooking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise for another 30-60 minutes.
To make your bath solution: Place water in a large pot, making sure not to fill more than ¾ of the way full. When the water is boiling, add the ½ cup baking soda slowly. It will bubble and fizz but will settle down. One by one, using a slotted spoon, drop your pretzel dough into the water bath. Let it boil for 10 seconds on each side. Remove with slotted spoon and place back onto parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt. When all pretzels are done, bake them in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned.
Beer Cheese Dip
3 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
½ cup milk
¾ cup beer (the darker the beer, the stronger the beer flavor)
12 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
½ tbsp steak sauce (or Worcestershire)
1 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add flour and mix until combined. Whisk in milk and beer and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Add the steak sauce and dry mustard, stirring to combine. Slowly add a bit of shredded cheese at a time, stirring well to melt. Continue until all the cheese is added and melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
Inspired from: http://www.turningclockback.com/2014/10/homemade-pretzels-with-beer-cheese.html