These pretzel braids with beer cheese dip are a fun recipe to make. Not only that, but you will be so proud of how they look that you will want to take a pic when you finish. If you do take a pic, please list it as a “tried it” recipe on Pinterest. So, go ahead check out this recipe. It’s another banger from our pretzel obsessed selves. You’re going to love it!
Now, while this recipe isn’t as hard or involved to make as bolognaise, it isn’t as simple as making this pretzel bite recipe. That’s because of the braiding aspect. It’s a little more detailed but if you are making these for an event or a little party, then you will definitely impress. If you are just making them for yourself then maybe you don’t want to spend the extra time making the braids.
To braid, you pretty much do the same thing that you would do if you were braiding hair. Take the dough and roll out 3 thin strips about a quarter inch in width and 12 inches in length (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Line those 3 strips side-by-side. Take the strip closest to you and cross it over the middle one. Next take the 3rd strip (the strip furthest from you) and cross it over the middle one. Continue this until you reach the end of the pretzel braid.
The beer cheese is so good with these pretzels. While making it you may think that you are adding too much cheese but if you don’t add enough, the sauce will be too bitter, and won’t have a cheesy taste. So, add the full amount of cheese. We recommend getting a ‘real’ aged cheddar cheese, like Cabot brand, for this dip.
Also, you will need to add enough salt to completely balance the flavor. You might need to add more salt than you initially expected.
First you will need to make a batch of pretzel dough. (see recipe below)
Next you will want to make the beer cheese. (see recipe below)
After the dough raises it is ready for braiding. Take a palm full of dough and roll it into a strip. Do this three times to set up for your braid.
Line the 3 strips side-by-side, then cross the strip closest to you over the middle one, then cross the strip furthest from you over the middle one. Repeat this process until you finish the braid.
Once the braid is finished, you need to cut it. You can cut the dough braids to whatever length you desire. For the pictures we cut them to about 2 inches. Although they weren’t completely uniform.
Dip the dough braids in the lye or baking soda solution for about 30 seconds.
Place on a parchment or wax paper lined pan.
Bake for about 10 minutes. You will want to rotate them at around the 5 minute mark. You will want to start watching them at about 7 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Baking times can vary.
Piling these into a big bowl and serving the cheese separately is perfectly fine for a nice card game or dominos or a movie night. But to give you an idea of how you could serve these at a party, we chose these really cool polka dot miniature cups from party city. For an added layer of awesomeness, we chose these miniature blue party shot cups and poured beer in them. In the picture we added the cheese to the cup with the pretzels. Alternatively, you could keep the cheese in a separate pot to keep warm, then your party guest could add cheese on their own. This cheese is best when warm.
We hope you enjoy! Please share if you dig this recipe.
Braided Pretzels with Beer Cheese Sauce
- 1 Basic Pretzel Recipe
- 1 Package of Smokies Mini hotdogs
- ¼ Cup Prepared Mustard
- 2 ½ Teaspoons of Creamy Horseradish
- 4 Teaspoons Honey
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 2 Tablespoon Food Grade Lye
- 6 cups of Water
- Prepare the basic pretzel recipe.
- Make the delicious dipping sauce. You are gonna want to put this on everything. Take the mustard, honey, and creamy horseradish and mix in a small bowl, add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to allow the flavors to marry.
- Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Take one piece and roll it out into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Cut the rolled out dough into strips about 3 ½ inches long and ½ inch wide.
- Take one strip and one smokie. Angle the smokie at the bottom of the strip of dough and roll all the way up around the smokie. Pinch the bottom to seal the dough. Repeat until all smokies have been wrapped and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Lye or Baking Soda Solution
- Gather safety goggles, disposable rubber gloves, stainless steel pot, long stainless steel stirring spoon. Put on safety goggles and rubber gloves.
- Take the stainless steel pot and fill it with 6 cups of water. Add the lye, stir and heat on high until you see steam. Then turn the heat off and set aside for about 5 minutes until you no longer see the steam. Make sure that the area you work in is well ventilated. Do not inhale the steam.
- If you opt to use baking soda instead of lye, follow these instructions:When using the baking soda bath you will need to bake ¼ cup of baking soda at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Then you will need a stainless pot with 8 cups of water. Add the baked baking soda to the pot of water and cook on high until you it simmers. Use a stainless steel spoon to mix the solution to make sure the baking soda dissolves. Then turn the heat to medium to maintain a simmer. You are ready to dip your pretzels for 30 seconds then cook.
- Dip the wrapped smokies in the lye solution for 30 seconds then place them back on the baking sheet. After you dip all the smokies score them with a sharp knife and top with pretzel salt.
- After all of the dough has been dipped in the lye or baking soda solution be sure to clean the pot, any utensils and work area. You can pour either solution down the drain. Clean the pot, utensils and work area with soap and warm water.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes. The cooking time can vary based on how close you have your oven rack to the heating element. Start looking at them after 5 minutes. No one wants burned pigs in a blanket. LOL
- About halfway through baking, rotate the baking pan so that the pretzels cook evenly.
- Let them cool for about 2-3 minutes and enjoy!
- When using food grade lye you want to make sure you use a stainless pot DO NOT use any other metal or there will be a bad chemical reaction.
- Some safety precautions you can take when working with food grade lye is to where safety goggles, long rubber gloves, long sleeve shirt, and pants. If you drop some solution on your skin just take some vinegar and pour it on the affected area. It will help neutralize the chemical reaction.
- You can also use a baking soda bath if you do not want or can’t find food grade lye.
- If using baking soda bath you will need to take ¼ cup of baking soda and bake it at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Then take a stainless steel pot and add 8 cups of water. Add the baked baking soda and stir until dissolved. Cook the bath on high until it simmers then lower the heat to medium to keep the solution at a simmer. Using the baking soda bath you should also follow the same precautionary measures as you would with the lye.
- You can put leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
- They are best reheated in the oven at 350 degrees for 2-3 minutes.
- If you let the bites sit too long on the baking sheet it will be a little hard to score them. Make sure you score each bite as soon as you finish dipping them in the lye bath.