2-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for kneading
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup + 6 cups warm water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water, for an egg wash
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1/3 cup light flavoured beer, such as a lager or pilsner
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt until well combined.
Place the milk, 1/2 cup of water, the honey and the butter in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat and heat ust until the butter has melted and mixture is lukewarm. If it accidentally gets a little too hot, just set the mixture aside for a few minutes until the mixture is lukewarm.
Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Punch down the pretzel dough and divide it into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 50-centimeter rope. Shape the ropes into pretzel twists and transfer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drape the formed pretzels with the clean kitchen towel and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes while you preheat your oven and prep the pretzel bath.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF and combine the remaining six cups of water with the six tablespoons of baking soda in a large straight-sided sauté pan or saucepot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
When the pretzels are a little puffy, the oven is preheated, and the water is boiling, carefully lift the pretzels one at a time off of the baking sheet and place in the boiling water for 30 seconds, flipping halfway through. Using a slotted spoon or a large flat spatula, remove the poached pretzels from the water and return to the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels have been poached.
Lightly brush the tops of each pretzel with a little of the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until dark golden in colour. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the pretzels to cool slightly before serving.
Meanwhile, make the beer cheese dip by melting the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk for about one minute to combine and toast the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk followed by the beer, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, and garlic powder, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about three to four minutes.
Slowly sprinkle and whisk in the cheddar cheese until fully combined then season with kosher salt and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve with warm pretzels.
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