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Pretzels with Cheese Dip
Total 2 hours and 10 minutes (includes resting time)
Active 50 mins
Makes 16 pretzels
TIP: To make cinnamon sugar pretzels, leave off the sprinkling of salt, bake the pretzels as directed, brush them with the melted butter, and dip them in a mixture of 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon.
Ingredients
    • Two 1/4-ounce packets active dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 3/4 cups warm water (95°F to 110°F)
    • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/3 cup baking soda
    • 4 cups boiling water
    • 1/4 cup Maldon or other flaky salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • Cheese Dip, for serving (recipe follows)
  • Cheese Dip:
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 cups milk
    • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 4 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
    • 2 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
    • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the warm water. Set aside until the sugar and yeast are dissolved, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the kosher salt. Turn the mixer on low to mix the ingredients. Add the oil and the yeast mixture and mix on medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
  3. Spray a large bowl lightly with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 equal pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 24-inch-long rope and twist each rope into a traditional pretzel shape.
  6. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the baking soda and boiling water, stirring until the soda is completely dissolved. Dip each pretzel in the soda/ water mixture, then place it on one of the prepared pans, leaving 1 1/2 inches between the pretzels. Sprinkle the pretzels with the Maldon salt.
  7. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Brush each pretzel with melted butter and serve immediately with cheese dip.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it bubbles. Add the flour and whisk constantly until well combined. Whisk and cook until thickened, to make a roux, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the milk. Whisk well. Return to the heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and will coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cream cheese, Cheddar, and Gouda and stir until melted. Stir in the mustard, paprika, cayenne (if using), salt, and black pepper and serve immediately.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking slowly. Add a teaspoon of milk at a time to thin it out if needed.

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