Cheddar is something that is way under appreciated in the United States. It is so widely available. Americans eat a lot of it without giving a thought to the fact that somewhere out there on the planet there are many people who have never even heard of it, much less tasted it.
It’s hard to imagine, I know. My family has somehow survived for almost a year without cheddar. There were some close calls though. Unchecked grilled cheese cravings have been known to be lethal and life without real macaroni and cheese is almost unlivable.
I think cheddar deserves more respect. I may even write a song about it. An ode to its spectacular sharpness and melty goodness. I should probably add in a line or two about beer and how good it is in bread and then a few things about bacon. Pork fat rules!
These pretzel dogs are the perfect way to showcase the amazing flavors of cheddar, beer bread, and of course bacon.
Okay, so these probably won’t win any awards for health but they are major crowd-pleasers. No worries about too many leftovers.
- 12 ounces (1 bottle) beer
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 - 5 1/2 cups flour
- water for boiling
- 1/4 cup teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg plus 2 tablespoons water
- 9 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 18 hot dogs
- In a small saucepan, heat beer to 110°-115° F; remove from heat. Stir in yeast until dissolved. In large bowl combine butter, sugar, salt, and 4 cups flour. Add remaning flour as needed until dough forms a ball (the dough will be a little sticky from the beer). Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Add cheese and bacon to dough and knead until well mixed into dough. Grease a medium bowl and place dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Fill wide pot about 1/3 of the way with water and add baking soda; bring to a boil. Line 2 half sheet baking pans with parchment and grease; line a third with paper towels. Divide dough into 18 balls. Stretch pretzels into ropes and twist around each dog. Dip pretzels a few at a time into boiling water and boil for 30 seconds on each side. Remove to paper towel lined pan. Repeat until all pretzels are boiled. Place pretzels on parchment lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Mix egg with 2 tablespoons of water; brush over tops of pretzels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown; remove and cool.