It is Superbowl Sunday and even if you find Debbie Reynolds as a dancing football more interesting than the actual game, here is an appetizer recipe that will score with everyone. Use your cast iron skillet to make these pretzels and definitely use the beer cheese dip with them. Oh, and if you want a cool crunch, cut up some slices of Granny Smith apple for dunking in the cheese sauce. Scrumptious!
Super Skillet Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip
For the Skillet Pretzels:
1½ cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and let cool
¼ cup baking soda, for baking solution
8 cups water, for baking solution
1 whole egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
Kosher salt, for topping
For the Beer Cheese Dip:
1 bottle beer
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoon flour
8 oz cream cheese, diced and softened
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl or bowl of a countertop stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes to proof the yeast.
Stir in 3½ cups of the flour, the salt and the melted butter. Mix until well combined. Slowly add more flour, a bit at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. You may use the entire 4½ cups, or you might need a bit less.
Knead for 5 minutes. Lift the dough from the bowl and spray the bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough back down, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Line a pan with parchment paper and spray your skillet with nonstick spray.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 16 equal-sized pieces. Take each piece and shape into balls by pulling each corner toward the middle and pinching together. Place pinched-side down on the parchment paper lined sheet. Loosely cover again with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise again for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, slowly add in the baking soda. Make sure you add it slowly or the water could boil over!
Put the rolls (1-3 at a time, depending on how big your pot is), in the water pinched side down. Boil for 30 seconds, then flip and boil the other side for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pretzel rolls from the water and place back on the baking sheet to cool. Continue until all of the pretzels have been boiled in the baking solution.
Arrange the pretzels around the outside of the prepared skillet. Squeeze them together so they fit snugly. You may not be able to fit all of the pretzels– if not, that’s okay. You can bake the remaining ones separately.
Cover once more and let sit for 5 minutes.
Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle with Kosher salt. Using a sharp knife, make X-shaped slices in the top of the pretzel rolls. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pretzels are deep golden brown.
As they bake, prepare the Beer Cheese Dip. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the beer to a simmer. In a bowl, toss the cheese with the flour. Add the cheese mixture to the beer with the remaining ingredients. Stir until all the cheese has melted and the texture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.