Today I was planning on posting a different recipe, but I’m feeling very German at the moment so pretzels and beer were a must.
By “feeling very German”, I mean that my whole house is now obsessed with DuoLingo (if you want to learn a language, look it up, it’s free and I’ve been using it for years now!), and I just discovered a kick-butt German music artist that I have been listening to non-stop for the past week.
Non-stop. I’m listening to him right now, in fact.
Do you ever get like that when you discover a new song/band? I will literally play the same song 10 times in a row if I have my headphones in. Tell me I’m not alone.
Anyway, back to the pretzels. Just like I get obsessed with songs and bands, I get obsessed with foods. I’ve said this a million times before on this blog, and I’ll say it a million times more, I’m sure, but pretzels will never get old for me.
I worked at Auntie Anne’s for 7 years, and pretzels are still one of my favorite foods of all time. They’re insanely delicious. Salty, fluffy, and warm. What more could a girl want in life?
Oh wait, I know the answer to that question. Cheese.
And… actually, that’s about it.
By the way, I know I was saying that I was feeling very German and you may have noticed from my first picture that I used Guinness… which is not German (but sláinte to all of my fellow Irish folk). I was out of German beer.
The Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip is still great with Guinness, though. I’m going to pretend that I did it on purpose to honor different parts of my heritage. You can use whatever kind of beer you’d like, as long as you promise to pull apart those steaming pretzel rolls and dunk them in the beer cheese before snacking away.
Football preseason is only just over a week away, and everyone is getting their fantasy leagues together. Today feels almost like fall with it’s cool breeze and tiny peak of sun. Doesn’t it just make you want to make these?
Can’t you imagine making them for Game Day, or for an Oktoberfest celebration? Don’t forget about them after August comes and goes! I know I posted this a bit early (don’t worry, summer is still here!), but if you practice making it now, you’ll have it perfected as your go-to autumn appetizer once the time comes.
Or, you know, use whatever excuse you need to make this Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip immediately because it’s fantastic and can’t wait until fall. It just can’t. You won’t regret it.
Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip
- Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 16 1x
Adapted from Seasons and Supper’s Warm Pretzel Rolls recipe
For the Pull-Apart Pretzels:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and let cool
- 1/4 cup baking soda, for baking solution
- 8 cups water, for baking solution
- 1 whole egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
- Kosher salt, for topping
For the Beer Cheese Dip:
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning packet
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1/3 cup beer of your choice
- 1 green onion, chopped, to garnish (optional)
- In a large bowl or bowl of a countertop stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes, or until it gets a bit foamy. If it gets foamy, it means that your yeast is good and you’re set to continue. If it never gets foamy, your yeast might be bad and your pretzels will not turn out, so make sure you do check!
- Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the Kosher salt, and the melted butter. Mix until well combined. Slowly add more flour, a bit at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. You may use the entire 4 1/2 cups, or you might need a bit less.
- Lift the dough from the bowl and spray the bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough back down, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Line a pan with parchment paper and spray your skillet or baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 16 equal-sized pieces. Take each piece and shape into balls by pulling each corner toward the middle and pinching together. Place pinched-side down on the parchment paper lined sheet. Loosely cover again with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise again for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, slowly add in the baking soda. Make sure you add it slowly or the water could boil over!
- Put the rolls (1-3 at a time, depending on how big your pot is), in the water pinched side down. Boil for 30 seconds, then flip and boil the other side for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pretzel rolls from the water and place back on the baking sheet to cool. Continue until all of the pretzels have been boiled in the baking solution.
- Arrange the pretzels around the outside of the prepared skillet. Squeeze them together so they fit snugly. You may not be able to fit all of the pretzels– if not, that’s okay. You can bake the remaining ones separately.
- Cover once more and let sit for 5 minutes. As you wait, prepare the Beer Cheese Dip. Combine the cream cheese and ranch seasoning in a medium-sized bowl using a handheld mixer. Slowly add in a bit of beer and a bit of shredded cheese as you blend, until all has been added.
- Scoop the Beer Cheese Dip into the center of the skillet.
- Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle with Kosher salt. Using a sharp knife, make X-shaped slices in the top of the pretzel rolls. It’s okay if they’re not perfect, mine never are.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pretzels are deep golden brown and the cheese has browned on top. Sprinkle the cheese with chopped green onion and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 45 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
Millie l Add A Little says
Love this!! It looks super tasty!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
now this is a seriously good idea.. looks SO delicious, love the skillet idea too!
Crystal | Apples & Sparkle says
Oh lordy, does this look good!
Melanie @ Carmel Moments says
Love this idea! Totally up my alley. Pinned. 🙂
Have a great day!
Jennifer Stewart says
These look AMAZING!!! My oldest son loves soft pretzels so I can’t wait to make this with him! Thanks for the great recipe!
I hope you and your son love them, Jennifer!
Ok, this is great and all, but what on earth is the German artist/song that you’re obsessing over?
ps – best food blog I’ve ever come across. I’m now a frequent visitor.
Haha I have been obsessed with Peter Fox. His music is like German reggae/hip hop, which is really cool and unexpected (or at least to me)! And thanks so much for the nice comment! I’m glad you enjoy it =)
I have a great Peter Fox DVD ! “Haus em See”? The German pretzel bread is popular as my husband is from Stuttgart so I’ve made them a few times. I can wait to try your skillet idea with them!
I love soft homeade pretzels! Can’t wait to try this.
Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry says
Greetings via SU. I really love this recipe. I hope to try it one day.
Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño@ says
Oh Wow! That looks absolutely amazing! What a great idea and beautiful photos too!
Can process be broken up. for example male dough and boil one day…freeze.. the rest another day???
I’ve never tried to do that but I do know that you can make the dough ahead of time, and then after it rises you can put the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the dough come to room temp before dividing it up into pieces, rolling into balls, and boiling. I hope that helps =)
Oh my goodness. This has to be part of my plan for the week. They look inCREDible.
Been following you for a while but never posted until now – when I saw this awesome recipe and used it for
Dog hit the keyboard before I finished this one. Anyways, I wanted to sing the praises of this recipe and share with you my results:
Pretty awesome! The whole thing was gone by the end of the night and it received rave reviews from all partakers. One question, one suggestion:
Would you be able to add some clarification to the recipe regarding the baking soda “bath”? I didn’t use exactly 8 cups of water because the pan didn’t fit it, but is the amount of baking soda exact to that 8 cups? I ended up just kind of eyeing it and it worked out though.
Second, a suggestion to all who make it: Definitely consider including multiple dips if you can “partition” the center. A few people commented that putting buffalo chicken dip and (especially)….some sort of chocolate dip would make this recipe even better. Just a thought. Thanks for posting!
Yours looks awesome, Evan! I love the suggestions for buffalo chicken dip or chocolate dip! I’ll try that in the future =)
As far as the baking soda bath goes, it is proportionate to the amount of water, although I would suggest including just slightly over half of the baking soda if you decide to halve the amount of water. In my experience, this has given better results, although I couldn’t tell you why!
I’m interested in making this recipe tonight, but I don’t know what size skillet you used. I have a 15″ cast iron skillet. Will that work? Thanks.
I used a 10″ skillet here, but if you increase the amount of dip, a 15″ cast iron skillet will work =) You just won’t have the leftover pretzels to bake on the side that I mention having!
Quick question: If I were just wanting to make this dip, what style dish would you use and would that alter the temperature and/or cooking duration. Thanks!
Jay– Sorry I’m just seeing this! It somehow got buried in the comments. Do you mean if you just wanted to make the beer cheese dip? The great thing about that dip is that it’s very versatile. You could serve it cold (although the shredded cheese wouldn’t be melted, but it still tastes great) or warm, and you can heat it up in a ceramic or glass dish or a cast iron skillet in the microwave. If baking it, I’d suggest anywhere from 400 degrees to 425 degrees, as you want the cheeses to melt and warm and for the top to get a bit bubbly and lightly browned. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the response. I actually paired this dip with your blue cheese garlic beer bread for the office Christmas party. Everyone went nuts for it. Thank you again.
Kelsey De Jong says
I was wondering about the dip too! thanks I’ll be making it today!
Virginia Burdick says
Morgan—tried this recipe tonight–two old ladies home alone on New Years Eve. It was so much fun to experiment with something I’ve never done before. They came out of the oven looking just like your pictures. I am in a Cast Iron Club and sprayed with non stick oil—put the skillet in to preheat while I gave the pretzel balls their pre-water bath, then snipped the balls will kitchen shears, gave them the egg wash, and then into the hot skillet. Sooo good! Thank you for the “keeper” recipe.
I’m so glad to hear it, Virginia!
Hi Morgan! I found you through a roundup from another blog and have to say, I wish I knew about your blog sooner. I totally love it and all the innovative ways you make delicious and unique recipes the new norm. I’m pretty sure I’ve downloaded like 30 already and can’t wait to make them all!
Arielle Gavin says
I love DuoLingo! I’m learning Italian for a trip to Italy.
And, this looks great, I’m going to make the pretzel part to go with the beer cheese soup a friend is bringing over!
In the oven now!
I’m just making the pretzel pillaparts. And so far everything is going according to plan. I wonder the recipe for the dough is this the same as for pretzels. Probably a dumb question. We make pizzas in woodfired oven in Sabang Puero Galera Philippines
As a point of interest I was born in Salzberg Austria and raised in Canada.
It is a small world.
Great blog will use it often. Thanks
Can this recipe be prepared in advance, and then baked off later? Or will the time between water bath and baking ruin the pretzels?
I have this question as well! I’m thinking about making it for Thanksgiving but will need to drive for 3 hours with it and bake it when I arrive. will it be fine to set it up in the skillet and bake it about 3 hours later?
I would recommend instead baking it ahead of time and then when you get to your destination, lightly spritz the tops of the pretzels with a tiny bit of water, cover the skillet with foil, and reheat in the oven at 325 degrees until warmed through, about 10-15 mins. =) That should work better!
Hi Morgan,Hope you don’t mind me sending you this. I am not a blogger, but I saw a recipe similar to this made with the big biscuits (not sure I can use their proper name). Instead of making pretzels from scratch open a package of the 8 biscuits and cut them in half to make 16. Take the 16 and roll each into a ball.Slice a x across each.Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons baking soda to the sauce pan.Reduce to simmer. Drop each ball into the water.Let cook 1 minute.,then take out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the iron skillet forming a ring along edge.Brush with a beaten egg.Sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt.Put beer cheese into center. Bake 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. I saw it on you tube pretzel ring beer cheese dip. I’m sure your pretzels from scratch are much better, but I just thought for some people who don’t have the time this would be a good second choice. I’ve been obsessed with beer cheese lately, even though I don’ t like beer. I guess it’s from my love for Welsh Rarebit.Somehow beer with cheese is delicious.I like your choice of adding ranch seasoning to the cheese.Keep up the good recipes.
Yes, you can definitely make a fast version of pretzels with pre-made dough! Thanks for sharing, Jeanette =)
Deirdre Roe says
Looking forward to making this dish on the weekend. I’ve never cooked with yeast before so I’d like to confirm. Is is 1/2 teaspoons (two 1/4 teaspoon packets) or 2+1/4 teaspoons? The recipe may be a bit confusing for first-timers. Thanks!
Hi Deirdre. It’s a total of 2 & 1/4 teaspoons, which is equal to 1 average-sized packet of yeast. =)
Deirdre Roe says
Thanks for clarifying. Made it this evening and it turned out better than expected.
Absolutely fantastic! I made this as a shared dish for our NYE party. It was a huge hit. The excess pretzels that were cooked separately cooked faster than those in the skillet, so next time I will be sure to watch to make sure they don’t over cook. I would also consider doubling the cheese dip recipe because it was devoured so quickly, we had none left over for the extra pretzels! Maybe next time I will make an extra batch in a separate dish. Awesome recipe that I will definitely use again.
I’ve never made pretzels before and these came out perfect! Great recipe and instructions, thank you! Will be making every football Sunday 🙂