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soft homemade pretzels with beer cheese dip in cast iron skillet

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Smoked Gouda Beer Cheese Dip

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 pretzels 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, Snack
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These chewy, buttery and salty Homemade Soft Pretzels with Smoked Gouda Beer Cheese Dip will be your best appetizer recipe. Hands. Down.



for dough

1 cup warm water (about 100110 degrees)

1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon melted butter

1 Tablespoon sugar

for topping

1 cup boiling water

2 Tablespoons baking soda

1 egg, whisked

kosher salt

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter

for smoked gouda beer cheese dip

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

8 oz light but flavorful beer

1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water and yeast and dissolve for 1-2 minutes. In a bowl fitted with a stand mixer and a dough hook (you can mix by hand if needed), add in flour, salt, melted butter, sugar and yeast mixture. Turn mixer on to medium-high speed and knead for about five minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Place dough into a clean, dry bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Place dough in a dry place for 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  2. While the dough is rising, combine boiling water and baking soda in a shallow bowl and whisk until baking soda is dissolved.
  3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Punch dough down and divide into 8-10 equal pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly oiled surface (spray lightly with non-stick spray) and roll dough pieces out into a long thin rope and shape into a pretzel (see photos above in post). Dip each side of pretzel into baking soda water batch for 30 seconds. Transfer pretzel to parchment lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Allow pretzels to rest for 10 minutes and then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.
  4. While pretzels are baking, prepare cheese sauce. In a small cast iron skillet on medium heat, add butter. When butter has melted, whisk in flour. Cook flour mixture for 2-3 minutes, whisking consistently until browned and creamy. Add in beer, whisking consistently for 5-6 minutes, or until mixture has thickened and bubbles slightly. Add two cheeses in three increments, whisking after each addition, until melted. Finish cheese sauce by adding in fresh minced garlic and cayenne pepper.

Keywords: game day, soft, homemade