Pretzel Bites with Beer and Cheese (Bonus Sauce Recipe)
These pretzel bites with beer and cheese are the perfect party food. You can serve them for a game night, birthday, family gathering or any other occasion. They are filled with Cheddar cheese that melts in your mouth when they are warm. These little bites have the perfect pretzel texture. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle. To enhance their flavor even more I also added beer to the dough. I believe that pairing beer with a cheesy pretzel was an amazing idea. In this blog post I also gave you a recipe for a delicious dipping sauce that goes so well with the pretzel bites. I bet you already have the ingredients to make it.
Helpful tips for making a dough
How to measure flour? Always scoop more flour than you need in your cup and use a knife to level it off. If you have a scale use it, because measuring ingredients by weigh is always more accurate. One cup of flour contains exactly 4 oz or 125 grams of all purpose flour.
When you make the dough, you might need more or less flour. It depends on the type and the brand of flour that you use.
It is very important to add the flour gradually until you have soft and stretchy dough. If it is sticking to your hands and you cannot form it to a ball, then you need more flour.
The beer you chose for this recipe is important. The lighter the beer the less you are going to taste it. If you want a strong beer flavor use dark or red beer.
Slightly warm up the beer before making the dough. This will help with the activation of the yeast. If the dough is cold it will take longer to proof.
When the dough is proofing cover it well and keep it away from vents and drafts.
I ended up with 38 mini pretzel bites with beer and cheese. Depending on the size you want them to be you can get less or more than me.
Use whatever cheese you like, but I recommend low moisture cheese. If the cheese is too wet it will make the pretzel soggy. Make sure that you wrap the cheese very well in the dough. Press and seal the ends of the dough together. This will prevent the balls form falling apart in the alkaline bath.
Don’t worry about cheese coming out of the dough wile baking. No matter how well you make your pretzel bites some cheese will always come out.
You can serve the pretzel bites with other sauces if you like. I think that they tasted delicious with ketchup too.
Store leftover pretzel bites in an airtight container or in a ziplock bag. Reheat before serving. I do that in a toaster oven, but you can also warm them up in a microwave.
Pretzel Bites with Beer and Cheese
For the pretzels
- 1 cup beer slightly warm 110F
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
- 6 oz Cheddar cheese or other low-moisture cheese
For the alkaline bath
- 5 cups water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- coarse sea or pretzel salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp water
Honey mustard sauce (optional)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise I used homemade
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
To prepare the dough
- In a large mixing bowl add the beer, sugar, yeast, a tablespoon of melted butter, one cup of flour and the salt. Using a stand mixer or a spatula mix the ingredients until you have a wet dough. Gradually add more flour and continue mixing on low until your dough forms a ball and it is no longer sticking to your hands or to the sides of the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Use the other tablespoon of melted butter to grease the sides and bottom of the bowl. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap. Proof for an hour away from drafts.
To prepare the pretzel bites
- Cut 6 oz low moisture cheese like Cheddar to small cubes. I needed 38 cubes for 38 mini pretzels.
- Wrap each cheese cube in a little bit of dough to form a ball. Make sure that there are no openings in the dough balls. Continue until you run out of dough. I ended up with 38 pretzel bites.
To prepare the alkaline bath
- In a deep pot add 5-6 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to simmer and add ¼ cup of baking soda.
- Add the dough balls in the alkaline bath in batches of 5-6. They should simmer for about 30 seconds. Then use a slotted spoon to remove them from the bath on a wire rack. Repeat until you run out or dough balls.
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the pretzel bites on the baking sheet.
- Brake an egg in a bowl and add a tablespoon of water to it. Use a fork to whisk it and food-grade brush to spread it on top of each pretzel bite. Top each bite with a coarse salt.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
To prepare a honey mustard sauce
- In a small bowl add the mayonnaise , honey and mustard. Stir until combined.
- Serve the pretzel bites warm with your favorite dipping sauces.