If you’re like me you don’t need an excuse to dive into a steaming bowl of soup no matter the time year. Fall is the ultimate green light for warm and steamy dishes of the soup and chowder variety though. I don’t know – maybe it’s the colder weather or just the autumn-mentality (whatever that means) but it is just how it is. No questions. Just go with it.
With all of that rambling being said, a good soup can be made even better with a bread bowl. And if it’s a pretzel bread bowl, it’s a frakking match made in Heaven. Am I right or am I right!?! [[Bacon Broccoli Stout Cheese Soup Recipe will be coming out later this afternoon!]]
While we are still going strong here for Beer and Bacon Week I’d like to take the opportunity to tip my hat to the good ‘ole soft pretzel. Oh soft pretzel, how delicious you are. Please get into my mouth right this now. Oh Nerdship, did you know that sometimes I go to the mall just to get a Auntie Anne’s pretzel. Yep. Just for the pretzel. No. You can’t have my lady card, guys. Don’t even ask.
Now you may be asking yourself WHY we’re sending out another soft pretzel recipe to the ‘Verse. Honestly it’s because they are delicious and like cookies or cupcakes – there are so many different kinds to make. If you’d rather here’s two other delicious options: Motz Pretzel Balls or Easy Soft Pretzels.
Today we’re making Gouda & Guinness soft pretzels. They’re also made with rye flour and unicorn tears – so I guess that makes them extra special, right? Just look at them. They’re magical just like NPH.
Anyways, if you’re in the market to be the talk of your next tailgating party or Oktoberfest I highly suggest giving these babes a try. They’re relatively easy to make though they do take about 3 hours of pre-baking, rise time to get that perfect puffy texture. It’s totally worth it.
I’m going to go ahead and apologize for the lack of in-progress pictures my camera battery died. Mah bad.
Gouda and Guinness PretzelsPretzels or Pretzel Bowls - Your choice!
- 2 c of Guinness Extra Stout (1 bottle)
- 2 tsp active rise yeast
- 4 tbsp brown sugar + 4 tbsp for the baking soda bath mixture
- 1 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 c bread flour
- 1 c of dark rye flour
- 3 cups regular flour + more for dusting
- 1 c of shredded gouda cheese + extra for sprinkling
- 1 c of cooked bacon, finely diced (about 4-5 strips)
- Tap Water (for the water bath)
- 4 tbsp baking soda
- Coarse Salt, to taste, optional.
- 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
- In a small saucepan, warm up your beer to 110F degrees then pour into a mixing bowl – sprinkle with yeast and stir to dissolve – let sit for 2-3 minutes so that the yeast starts to bloom.
- Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve.
- Add flours in a mixing bowl with a hook attachment then slowly pour in your liquid mixture in 2 or 3 different additions (It cuts down on the flour dust cloud).
- Once the dough is nicely mixed add in your gouda and diced bacon. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 45 minutes. I let mine rest for 1.5 hours in the oven with my oven light on.
- When the dough has finished rising, prepare a baking soda water bath. Fill a large sauce pan halfway full of water then turn it on medium high heat so that it starts to boil. Once it starts to boil add in your remaining brown sugar and baking soda.
- Back to the dough; pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope for pretzels or divide into balls for bread bowls. For large pretzels you’ll want a dough rope that’s about 18 inches long and a half-inch wide, for smaller pretzels, roll a dough rope that’s about 10 inches long and a half-inch wide. If you’re wanting to make some bread bowls divide your dough into 5-6 portions and roll them into balls
- Dip the pretzel dough in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet, sprinkle with gouda and lightly sprinkle with salt and allow pretzels to rise again – at least 45 minutes.
- Bake in 450F oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden for the pretzels and 400F for 25-30 minutes (or until they make a hollow sound when you thump them with your finger) for bread bowls. Brush with melted butter and enjoy!