Some Friday nights are made for delivery pizza. Other Friday nights are for luxuriating in fun food deliciousness. This is such a recipe. Yes, it’s labor-intensive but very much worth the effort, as long as you can ignore the fact it really only covers two food groups.
I made the pretzel rolls in advance and they were fine for 24 hours (just be sure to store them somewhere with low humidity).
If you want a more balanced meal, serve these with grilled chicken and broccoli—lots and lots of broccoli.
Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce
Servings: 10-12 large pretzel rolls and approximately 2 cups of cheese sauce
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or one packet)
2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on top of the pretzels
6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
Beer Cheese Sauce:
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups beer
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm water and the yeast. Let sit until bubbling, about five minutes.
Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with a thin layer of vegetable oil and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and one teaspoon of salt.
Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and using the dough hook, mix the dough on low until it is just combined.
Once combined, increase the speed to medium and knead until elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes or so.
Roll the dough into a ball and lightly roll the dough in the pre-oiled bowl to completely coat. Cover with a light cloth and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat the paper with vegetable oil and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each.
Cover with a light cloth and let the dough rise again in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Once the rolls have risen, stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up slightly so be very careful).
Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain and place on the baking sheet with the cut side up. Sprinkle well with salt and repeat with the remaining rolls.
Once all the rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Beer Cheese Sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the chopped onion and bay leaf; cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and the flour, stirring to coat the onions completely; cook, stirring constantly for about 3-4 minutes.
Slowly add the beer to the roux, whisking constantly.
Next, slowly add the heavy cream, whisking constantly and breaking up any clumps of flour that may have formed.
Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, and add the peppercorns, cloves and nutmeg. Cook for about 30 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Using a small slotted spoon, remove the peppercorns and bay leaf from the mixture.
Remove the sauce from the heat and slowly whisk in the grated cheese, adjusting the amount of cheese to your desired taste and thickness.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 322, Calories from Fat: 155, Fat: 17 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 1666 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 11 g.
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