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):
Ingredients:From Half Baked Harvest
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.
And here's what the team brought to the table...