Stuffed with extra sharp cheddar, these Cheesy Pumpkin Beer Soft Pretzel Twists are meant to be shared at your next party or game day! Serve with some grainy mustard or a spicy cheese dip.
Makes about 14-16 Pretzels
Oil the sides of a medium-sized mixing bowl with the vegetable oil and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, honey, and warm water. Lightly stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
Once the yeast is activated, add the beer, melted butter, and salt. Mix on low speed with a dough hook until combined.
In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the all purpose and whole wheat flour. With the dough hook still on low speed, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a half a cup at a time. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer to the well-oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for one hour in a warm place.
When the dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 425°F and bring the large pot of water to a low boil. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and prepare the egg wash.
Break off a piece of dough a little larger than a golf ball, and shape it into a rope about an inch thick and 15 inches long, tapering off at the ends. With a sharp knife, slice a three- to four-inch slit half way through the middle of the rope, careful not to cut all the way through. Place a strip of cheese inside the slit and reform the dough around it. Fold the rope in half (with the cheese-filled part in the center of the curve) and twist the ends together.
Once they've all had a baking soda bath, arrange the pretzels on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops of each with the egg wash. Sprinkle with pretzel salt to your liking and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tops are golden. Some cheese might bubble out of the twists, but that’s okay. Serve the soft pretzel twists immediately, with a side of coarse mustard or thick cheese sauce.
Activating Yeast: Make sure the warm water is hot to the touch, but not scalding. You need warm water to activate the yeast, but too hot could kill it.
Choosing a Beer: While I love the twist pumpkin ales add to this recipe, not everyone loves pumpkin beer. If pumpkin beer is out of season (or it's not to your taste), any amber ale or lager would work beautifully!
Making Ahead: Sometimes you don’t have time to complete a full recipe in one day, or you need to make your snacks well in advance of your party. There are two ways you can freeze this recipe to make things ahead:
First, you can freeze the dough after it’s risen. Wrap it in plastic wrap, slip it into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow the dough to thaw in the refridgerator overnight before using, and then to come to room temperature before dropping into the baking soda bath.
Second, you can freeze the baked pretzel twists. Once you've finished the recipe, allow the fully cooked pretzel twists to cool to room temperature (for this method, I recommend under-baking the pretzels just slightly - enough that the dough is cooked through, but the tops aren't browned too much). To freeze, place them on a baking sheet, leaving a little space between, and leave in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Transfer the frozen pretzels to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and use within 2-3 months. When ready to serve, bake in an oven set to 350°F for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.