Beer Cheese Fondue With Soft Pretzel Dippers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes (plus 12 minutes for pretzel dippers)

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

Fondue:

  • 4 cups freshly grated Gouda, about 1 pound
  • 4 cups freshly grated white cheddar, about 1 pound
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups beer (such as a saison or amber ale)
  • 2 cloves finely grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Soft Pretzel Dippers (12):

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 beaten egg, for brushing
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Other Serving Suggestions:

  • Steamed artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
  • Blanched cauliflower and broccoli florets
  • Mini sweet peppers, halved and seeded
  • Roasted or fried potato wedges
  • Sliced kielbasa

STEPS

Make the Pretzels:

1. Let the dough sit out at room temperature for at least 1 hour. It will be easier to handle and shape.

2. Preheat an oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Bring 2 quarts of water and the baking soda to a boil in a high-sided skillet, stirring to dissolve the baking soda; reduce to a bare simmer.

4. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 12 even pieces (38 grams per piece). Roll each piece into a 4-inch log, about 1/2-inch thick, keeping any pieces of dough you’re not working with covered with a lightly damp towel. If the dough is sticky, dust the work surface sparingly with some flour. Submerge the logs a few pieces at a time in the baking soda water for 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon, letting any excess water drip off, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

5. Brush the pretzel sticks with the egg. Score 3 diagonal slits along the length of each one. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake until dark brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Make the Fondue:

1. Toss the Gouda and cheddar in a bowl with the flour to coat; reserve. Combine the beer, garlic, dry mustard, and cayenne in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer; simmer for about a minute. Add the heavy cream, and simmer until lightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Add the cheese a handful at a time, whisking until melted. If the mixture becomes too cold, place back over low heat and continue to add the cheese until fully melted. Transfer to a fondue pot and keep warm. Serve right away with the suggested dippers.

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