There are some really intriguing reasons to cook with beer, not the least of which is figuring out what to do with the “leftover” beer once the recipe is made. One of my favorite practical reasons is that beer is a fantastic liquid to use in your bread making adventures. First, the aforementioned fun of “extra” beer, but more importantly the fact that beer is a mild leavening agent, giving a nice little extra puff to your dough.
Take those pretzels that already go so well with that pint. Add in the bread-rising magic of beer and you have yourself a winner. Extra points for eating the warm pretzels with a cold beer.
Beer-Infused Garlic Butter Pretzels
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
- 1 envelope rapid rise yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 cup wheat beer
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 10 cups water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Add flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Stir to combine.
- In a microwave safe bowl, add the beer. Microwave for 20 seconds, test temperature and repeat until the beer reaches 120 degrees. (This is the temperature for rapid rise yeast. If you use regular dry active yeast, adjust temperature to what is listed on the yeast package.)
- Pour the beer into the bowl and stir at a low speed until most of the dough has been moistened. Add the kosher salt and oil. Turn the speed up to high until the dough gathers around the hook and is smooth, about 8 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Remove the dough from the mixer, form into a ball and place in prepared bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm, dry area until doubled in size, about 40 to 60 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, knead on a light flowed surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Cut into 8 equal sized pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long rope about 18 inches long. Form into a pretzel shape and place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Fill a large pot with 10 cups water, making sure the pot is deep enough to fit the pretzels and that there is room for the water to bubble up without spilling over. Bring water to a boil, then add the baking soda. One at a time gently place each pretzel into the boiling baking soda water and cook, turning once, for about 30 seconds. Remove from water and place back on the baking sheet, allow to dry.
- Brush pretzels with beaten egg, sprinkle with salt.
- Bake at 375F for 16-18 minutes or until a dark golden brown in color.
- In a small bowl stir together the melted butter and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Brush onto the pretzels just prior to serving or use as a dipping sauce.