Saturday, September 20, 2014

#10DaysofTailgate: Soft Pretzels with Buffalo Cheddar Dip


Welcome to the opening kickoff of the #10DaysofTailgate!!  Today, all the bloggers involved are posting a recipe to whet your appetite for everything that is to come over the next 10 days.
Soft baked pretzels are a treat in and of themselves.  When J and I have an early game for Michigan, we order breakfast sandwiches and a Game Day from Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor.  The Game Day is 2 fresh baked pretzels, sliced into rounds, and a container of their house made pimento cheese for dipping.  While I am not sure that I would normally be a fan of pimento cheese, Zingerman's is amazing.  So are the pretzels.
But being at home for football (or nowhere near Ann Arbor) means that if I want something involving bread-like snacks to dip in cheese with a kick, I'm on my own.  Enter this recipe I pinned last year, thinking that they looked like something J and I would enjoy.  It's not pimento cheese, but it's hot and customize-ably spicy.  And despite the fact that you have to boil the pretzels before baking, don't let it deter you!  This is a really easy thing to make.
I present to you now from Half Baked Harvest, Soft Pretzels with Buffalo Cheddar Dip (links to the other bloggers, and ways to enter the giveaway are after the jump):

For the Pretzels:
1-1/2 c warm water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2-1/4 tsp yeast (1 pakcage)
1/2 c butter, melted
1-1/2 tsp salt
4-1/2 - 5 c flour
12 c water
2/3 c baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Coarse sea salt and garlic blend
For the cheese sauce:1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 c milk
4 oz cream cheese
2/3 c shredded old cheddar cheese
1/3 c buffalo sauce (such as Frank's)
1.  To make the pretzels:  Combine water, sugar, yeast and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir briefly with the dough hook attachment before letting stand 5 minutes, until foamy.
2.  Add the salt and 4-1/2 c flour and start the mixer.  Mix on low until a ball forms.  Add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough seems sticky.  Knead 5 minutes.
3.  Turn the dough out of the bowl and grease well.  Return dough to bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with a towel and place in a warm area to raise, for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.  (I set dough to rise in the oven.  Turn the oven on to 350F for 15 seconds and turn off.  Set the covered bowl in the middle of the oven with the light on until risen).
4.  Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a long rope, at least 24".  Form into pretzel shape by crossing ends of the dough twice before flipping up.
5.  In a Dutch oven, bring water to a boil.  Slowly add baking soda (it will foam up).  Boil the pretzels in the water solution for 30 seconds, dipping a spoon into the solution to pour over the tops of the pretzels.  Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet.
6.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg, and sprinkle with the sea salt and garlic mixture.  Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, or until golden.
7.  To make the sauce:  In a small saucepan, melt butter and add flour, cooking until golden.  Slowly stir in milk to keep the mixture smooth.  Add cheeses and Buffalo sauce, stirring until melted and the sauce in somewhat thickened.  Serve as a dip with the pretzels.
From Half Baked Harvest

Is there anything better than fresh yeast dough?  Frankly, this recipe had me at "dough hook".  I found the longer I made the rope, the easier it was to make the pretzels.
They cooked quickly on the stovetop.  I tried making bagels wasn't great.  These?  Kinda great.

I mean, how can you not love this??
Or even moreso this?  I made half with salt, and half without.  J and I liked them both ways.  The garlic was great with the cheese sauce.  But you could use sesame seeds, or chopped almonds, or anything to sprinkle over them.  Perfect for the next tailgate.

And here's what the team brought to the table...

Loaded Baked Nacho Supreme by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls by The Pajama Chef
Gazpacho Shooters with Spicy Shrimp by OnTheMove-In the Galley
Soft Pretzels and Buffalo Cheese Dip by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Cheesy Bean Dip by Making Miracles
Garden Fresh Salsa by Eliot’s Eats
Pineapple Salsa by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Devilish 7-Layer Dip by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
War Eagle Sangria by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Iowa Sunrise by From Gate to Plate

Deviled Egg Potato Salad by Cooking In Stilettos

El Diablo’d Lamb Lollipops by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Ginger Chicken Kabobs by Summer Scraps
Chili by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Baked Mac and Cheese  with Bacon Pretzel Topping by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Asian Duck Sliders  by Curious Cuisiniere
Pineapple Chile Lime Wings by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Love and Confections

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies by The Spiffy Cookie

Don't forget about the Giveaway!  All details can be found in yesterday's post!!


  1. YUMM! I love a hot, fresh pretzel - these look fantastic!!

  2. I'm making pretzel sticks to post later. Love this soft doughy pretzel!

  3. I am pretzel-challenged! None of mine looked good. My husband just laughed at me, then formed the PERFECT twist. Annoyed and impressed. I'm trying again soon. Thanks for sharing and for participating in #10DaysofTailgate.

  4. I love pretzels! I especially love soft ones! These look delish!

  5. I've never made pretzels before although my kids love them! I'm so going to have to try this, these look awesome! Great tailgating recipe!

  6. hey...i'm wearing a michigan t-shirt today. ohio state doesn't play so my husband is okay with that. :) you did a great job with these pretzels! when i make soft pretzels they look a little deformed but yours are shaped so well. (btw I hate self promoting but i have a really great and really easy bagel recipe on my blog. it's practically foolproof if you want to give bagels another try.)

  7. Uhoh we are Spartam fans in this house. Can we stills be friends?

  8. Soft Pretzels are SO perfect for tailgate snacking, especially WITH salt. I can't wait to try the cheese dip. Yum!

  9. Oh goodness me, your pretzels look puffy and so delicious. Pretzels with cheese sauce are one of our favorite appetizer options at restaurants! Yum, Hugs, Terra

  10. Gameday sounds fantastic and so does your pretzel version. Love any type of pretzel. Bea @ The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

  11. Homemade soft pretzels rock. Never thought to serve them with buffalo dip though, I bet it's wonderful.