Pull Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip
- 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 3½ 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 4½ 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.