Yuengling Soft Pretzels with Beer "Cheese" Sauce

Although beer is not my favorite adult beverage, Yuengling has a soft spot in my heart; it's the first alcohol that I ever drank.  It's become increasingly more popular during the last few years and their distribution is pretty much all over the east coast of North America.  It's headquartered in Pennsylvania, which is my home state - holla!

In addition, Yuengling has a very mild flavor; it doesn't taste watered-down like light beers, but it's flavor doesn't overpower in baking or cooking.  It's also vegan!

So, this pretty much explains my affinity for Yuengling.

As for pretzels, my hubby loves them.  I thought that I would tackle vegan soft pretzels because he loves to eat them with whole grain mustard.

They. Taste. Amazing.

Bread Machine Ingredients:
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. lager, like Yuengling, room temperature
1/4 c. organic cane sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 c. organic white flour, more as needed
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

Pretzel Assembly:
7 c. water
1/2 c. baking soda
2 T. organic cane sugar
1 T. water
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions for the Bread Machine:
Load your bread machine as directed by the manufacturer. (For mine, I’m supposed to load it with the liquid ingredients first, then dry, followed by the flour and yeast last. I listed the ingredients in the order that I would put them in.)

Once it’s loaded, plug it in and set it to the “dough” setting. Sit back and relax!

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

When the dough is done, remove it from the bread machine and transfer it to a well-floured surface.  Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.  

Roll a piece of the dough into a long log.  Twist it into a pretzel shape (see pictures below) and place it on the prepared cookie sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough chunks.

Number Pretzel Collage.jpg

Note: I made three "normal" sized pretzels and then decided to make one giant pretzel; I do not recommend this; it's difficult to get them out of the boiled water and it's an overall mess.  You'll want to make 6 equally-sized pretzels.  

Once 6 pretzels have been made, cover them with a towel and let the dough rise for another 10-20 minutes.

In the mean time, bring the 7 c. of water and baking soda to a boil.  Using tongs, gently dip the first piece of dough into the boiling water; boil it for 1 minute and flip.  Boil for 1 more minute and remove from the pot, placing it on a clean dish towel to remove excess water.  Repeat with each piece of remaining dough.

boiling Collage.jpg

Move the boiled pretzels back to the prepared cookie sheet.  In a small cup, combine the sugar and 1 T. of water.  Using a brush, gently brush each pretzel with the sugar glaze.  Sprinkle each pretzel with sea salt.

Bake the pretzels for 25-30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Beer "Cheese" Dipping Sauce:
1 c. lager, like Yuengling, room temperature
1/2 c. raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
5 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper (or black pepper is fine too)
pinch of turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of mustard powder (optional)

Directions for the Cheese sauce:
Drain the cashews.  In a small sauce pan, bring the beer and cashews to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook for about 10 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly.  Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth.

pretzel close up.jpg

Enjoy your beer and pretzels - you won't even miss the dairy!