Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jalapeno Pretzel Dogs with Beer Cheese Sauce

Football is upon us and once again everything is right in the world. Sundays have returned to their former glory. They now consist of morning hikes and afternoons filled with Peyton Manning. The Broncos make my heart aflutter.

Every Sunday (or Monday) we honor each glorious game with darn good football eats because the second best part about football is the eating. We started off the season with bang, jalapeno pretzel dogs with beer cheese sauce. I loved these. The dough is warm and chewy and the perfect blanket for the hot dog. And beer cheese dip...need I say more?

Once again, I urge you to not be intimidated by the homemade pretzel dough. You can do it. I promise. I will show you how. You will be so impressed by yourself when they come out of the oven that you will walk around the house and declare over and over again to your significant other and the dog, pretty much anyone who listen, "These hot dogs are a win. How impressive looking. How utterly delicious. Do you see how good these came out?" Or at least that's what I did. Make them and you too can indulge in shameless self promotion. They are that good.

Jalapeno pretzel dogs with beer cheese sauce
Serves 4, slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats

3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp salt
4 hot dogs
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, whisked
Coarse salt for sprinkling on top

Mix together warm water, yeast, and honey. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until frothy. This is the most important step in making sure your dough will rise. If the yeast is bubbly and frothy, that means it's active. Also, make sure your water is not scalding hot, as that could kill your yeast.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the yeast mixture, olive oil, flour, jalapenos, and salt. Knead on low 4-5 minutes until dough comes together. *This can also be done by hand. Combine ingredients with a wooden spoon and knead by hand for 10-15 minutes. It will be a stickier dough. In a large, well oiled bowl, let dough rise in warm spot until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the baking soda to the water. Oil a baking sheet.

On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to about an 8" by 12" rectangle. Cut the dough into 4 strips lengthwise. Take each strip and wrap it around the hot dog starting at the top. Pinch ends down so the dough stays together.

Drop the wrapped hot dogs into the boiling water for 30-40 seconds. Remove dogs and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until dough is a dark golden brown. While dogs are baking, prepare you beer cheese sauce. The recipe is below.

Beer cheese sauce
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
8 ounces light beer
12 ounces white cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon dijon

Melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, until it starts to turn golden. Pour in the beer and whisk frequently until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and dijon and continue to whisk until combined. Serve with your delicious hot dogs.

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