October is a fun month for the little ones with pumpkin patches and Halloween, but for the adults, let us not forget that fabulous German tradition known as OKTOBERFEST!!! On this week’s WIBW segment I take us on a virtual tour of Kansas foods for some treats that will be perfect for your Oktoberfest celebration, wherever you are! We’ll try some hand-crafted Tall Grass Beer, homemade Becky’s Bierocks, and my tasty recipe for beer cheese and pretzels.
Homemade Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbs. water to make egg wash
kosher salt or coarse seal salt, for sprinkling
1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Tall Grass Zombie Apocalyse beer
8-10 oz. Alma Creamery sharp cheddar, shredded
To Make Pretzels
Combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined; let rest for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a large mixing bowl with a bit of vegetable oil, add the dough and turn in bowl to coat dough with the oil. Cover bowl with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, 45 min – 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the 3 quarts of water to a boil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over high heat; carefully add the baking soda. It will boil over, so add slowly, stirring as you add it to the water.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat, clean work surface.
Using a bench scraper tool, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches long. Cut the rope of dough into 1 1/2″ pieces to make the pretzel bites.
Add dough bites, about 12-15 at a time to the boiling soda water, simmering them for 30-45 seconds, until they puff up a bit.
Using a slotted spoon, remove dough bites and place onto parchment-lined baking sheets that have been sprayed with lots of baking spray, taking care not to crowd them too much.
Brush the dough bites with the egg wash and season liberally with a sprinkle of salt; bake, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until very golden brown.
Immediately remove pretzel bites from the parchment paper to a cooling rack. Serve with cheese sauce.
To Make Cheese Sauce
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the flour and cook 1 minute.
Whisk in the beer and cook until slightly thickened; remove from heat and stir in the cheese, whisking until smooth and all of the cheese is melted.
KitchenSMACK: When making a cheese sauce, it’s always always best to use fresh grated cheese. The bagged, shredded cheese contains fillers that will change the texture and flavor of your sauce. To make quick work of shredding, simply pop your block of cheese into the freezer for twenty minutes, then shred and use in your favorite recipe!
Makes 5-6 dozen pretzel bites.
(Watch the video below for my favorite tip on getting just the right amount of flour in your baked goods!)
Now You’re Cookin’,
**These recipes were featured on Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen with From the Land of Kansas, as part of WIBW 13 News This Morning, October 2016. To order your favorite From the Land of Kansas products and ingredients, visit our new ecommerce site!
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. It may also contain “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”