Tuesday, December 4, 2012

12 Treats of Christmas - Day 4 - Brew Pub Pretzels

These are great to take to a party or to enjoy as an evening snack at home.

Brew Pub Pretzels

3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 teaspoons cooking oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts boiling water
2 teaspoons water
1 egg white
1 T. water
Coarse salt
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup strong ale or beer
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds or caraway seeds (optional)
Dash black pepper

In a large mixer bowl, combine milk, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, oil and flour. Combine well. Using dough hook attachment, knead until dough is soft and elastic.

Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise until dough has doubled in size. Punch down.

Heat oven to 475°F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside. Roll dough into a 10x6-inch rectangle; cut lengthwise into twelve 1/2-inch strips. Roll each strip into a rope about 16 inches long (I recommend at least 20 inches long). Shape each rope into a pretzel.

Place pretzels 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.

Dissolve the 2 teaspoons salt in boiling water; reduce heat to simmer. Slide pretzels, a few at a time, into water and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, turning once. Using a slotted spoon, remove from water; drain on a wire rack. Place 1/2 inch apart on well-greased (or parchment lined) baking sheet.

In a small bowl, beat egg white with 1 Tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg white mixture; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks; cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine process cheese spread, ale, celery seeds and black pepper. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted. Serve with pretzels.

Makes 12 pretzels.
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