There is nothing better than homemade, buttery pretzels. I mean sure you can open a bag of store-bought pretzels or microwave a frozen one, but this is way better than those options, not to mention much more delish!
This is a great party appetizer, and can be made in advance then reheated for easy entertaining. The dough is easy to make, as well as the dip. I love to use a good Irish beer, normally I would use Guinness, but I think Harp is better paired here with the KerryGold Dubliner cheese. There is something so sinfully, sexy about a good Irish cheddar, and it brings me closer to my Irish roots. Also, you can sub in a good sharp domestic cheddar if you want, but if you can splurge and indulge with the Dubliner cheese, it is so worth it! It has a distinctive taste that is buttery, and delicious with a hint of sweetness. It’s just the best and really makes these Pub Style Pretzel Bites and the Irish Beer Cheese dip just a heavenly combo!
I hope you give this one a try! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect party appetizer! If you are looking for some other recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, check out these recipes. Erin Go Bragh….CrazySexy Irish Girl and Easy Cheesy Beer Bread
This is active yeast, you can tell because it is eating the honey and foaming, the live culture has begun it’s process, and will help the flour rise when it is added. If you don’t see yeast foaming, it is dead and will not cause the dough to rise no matter how long you wait. Yesterday when I made these it was snowing and cold and it did affect the dough as I needed a little more than an hour to allow it to double in size. I always place my dough to rise in my oven that I warm for a few minutes at about 225 °, I then allow the oven to cool a few minutes, then place my bowl covered with a kitchen towel to rise for at least an hour.
Safety Note: I do this because I have an electric stove, a gas stove with a pilot light is not advised, kitchen towel and flame together, is a no-no, fire safety and all!
This is right after kneading the dough in the early stage, after flour is added to the yeast. The dough is smooth, but not elastic and bouncy to allow for it to be worked. The gluten in the flour needs to rest to make the dough pliable, and allow for it to relax and let the yeast do it’s thing. An hour in normal weather, no drafts, should produce a pliable dough. Now you wait. Pour yourself some coffee, feet up, and relax!!!
Dough has rested it is looking pretty chill. This is what it looks like after you punch it down, and I do so love to get my hands in there! She’s a beauty, aye?
Take the dough put it onto a lightly floured board, and cut it into fours then in fours again, you should have 8 wedges at this point, which you will make into about 10 inch braids and cut into one inch bite size pretzel bits! Estimate, mine are never perfect, and I am ok with that! I never claimed to be Martha Stewart!
There she is….the star of the show, behold, straight from Ireland…The buttery white cheddar is perfect in this cheese sauce. I added the whole hunk, shredded of course and about 1 oz. of domestic sharp cheddar. Just a little bit because this Dubliner cheese is perfect!!!!
By far one of my favorite new St. Patrick’s Day gifts! From my fireman, love the CrazySexySavor.com, etched on it, it’s not Guinness, but still Irish, just like me! xo
Pub Style Pretzel Bites with Irish Beer Cheese Dip
A pub classic, that's buttery, delicious, and perfect dipped in Irish Beer Cheese!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. of yeast
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 large egg
- coarse sea salt or pretzel salt
- 2 tbsp. of melted butter
- veggies for serving – (optional)
For the Irish Beer Cheese
- 7 oz. of Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
- 12 oz. of beer you could use Guinness, I used Harp, it is lighter and not as pungent
- 1 oz. sharp yellow cheddar
- 3 tbsp. of butter
- 2 tbsp. of flour
- 1 cup of warmed whole milk
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
For the Pub style pretzel bites
- Mix 1 cup of warm water, with 2 1/4 tsp. of yeast in a small bowl or measuring cup with a tablespoon of honey. Stir to dissolve yeast. Let sit for about ten minutes.
- In a large bowl, add 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour. Add in salt, mix well to combine. You can use your dough hook and stand mixer but I like to feel the dough so I know when it has had enough kneading and flour. Combine yeast mixture to bowl and mix well to incorporate, then dump onto floured cutting board. Knead dough until soft and it is no longer sticky. In a separate bowl add some EVOO, to the inside to prevent dough from sticking. Coat dough well on both sides. Cover with kitchen towel and place in warm, draft free area to rise. About an hour.
- When dough has risen and doubled in size, punch down and place on lightly floured board. Cut into four wedges, then cut those in half. Begin to roll into a 10 inch braid. Then cut into 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife.
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Fill a saucepan with 6 cups of water, bring to boil, slowly add in 1/4 cup of baking soda and a handful of pretzel bites. Using a spider or slotted spoon move the pretzels around to coat with the baking soda, this will help with browning. Drain onto a baking sheet. Whisk egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water. Place pretzels on a clean baking sheet, and brush the tops with eggwash. Sprinkle with sea salt or pretzel salt if you are using. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
- Melt butter in a Pyrex or microwave safe bowl, when pretzels are right out of the oven, take a clean pastry brus, don’t use the one you used with the eggwash, (no cross contamination here), and brush them with butter. Let sit for about five minutes, and remove to serving plate.
For the Irish Beer Cheese
- On medium heat melt butter, add in flour to make a roux, add warmed milk, and whisk until thick, add in heavy cream and whisk to incorporate. Season with Kosher salt and white pepper.
- Begin to whisk in cheese mixing well to incorporate. Add in beer slowly whisking after each addition. Let thicken and incorporate about ten minutes, then transfer cheese sauce to small serving bowl, serve with a cold Irish beer, and pretzel bites!