Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce
- Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Whisk together until yeast is fully dissolved.
- Add the honey, salt, and melted butter and stir until combined. Next, add bread flour and combine with an electric mixer. Gradually add 2½ cups of all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until a large dough ball forms. Add the additional ½ cup of flour if your dough is too sticky to knead.
- Knead ball for three minutes by hand, then place in a bowl lightly coated with vegetable oil. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least 40 minutes.
- Combine water and baking soda in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 450°F
- Divide your dough into 5 portions. One portion at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a long rope form with about an inch diameter. Cut 1" pieces of the rope. Dip each piece of dough into the boiling baking soda water for 20 seconds, then lay on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat) without letting any pieces touch. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may have to bake your pretzels in several batches.
- Brush beaten egg over each pretzel piece, then sprinkle coarse salt on top and bake for 9-12 minutes until golden brown. Repeat from step six for remaining dough.
- Pretzel bites are best enjoyed straight out of the oven, but you can also save them in an airtight container (making sure to let them cool completely before storing to avoid humidity) for about three days.
Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until you’ve got a paste like substance.
- Add milk, beer and Worcestershire sauce while continuously stirring. Stir until smooth, then add mustard powder and garlic powder. Continue to heat and whisk until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Turn heat to low and add shredded cheese, one ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously until cheese has completely melted and sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve immediately. To prevent congealing, serve in a small crock pot or fondue dish over heat.