Call me a fair-weather football fan. Go ahead. The Super Bowl just isn't the same for me this year since the Seahawks aren't in it. My blood pressure won't be elevated, my voice won't be hoarse, and I won't break out the face-paint. Sure, I'll watch the game, I always have... and do I care who wins?
Heck yes! (go Broncos!)
But really, it's all about the game-day food and commercials come Sunday. So much less stress. And we've created a fantastic recipe in honor of all (food) things football: carbs, beer, and finger-licking good!
Hannah picked up a delicious gouda at the farmer's market, which I got in trouble for opening- "that's not for eating, it's for a blog recipe!"
Because it's such a special cheese, not just your average yellow block, I wanted it to really stand out in the recipe. And it does.
I recommend using a mild, not-hoppy beer so that the beer flavor doesn't overpower the cheese. Any lager you enjoy drinking will work (bonus, cooks get the rest of the bottle!) This cheese sauce is so simple to make, I do so frequently (without the beer) to send in my kids' school lunches.
The pretzels keep well, and the kids have fun helping to shape them. Not everyone is a natural at pretzel shaping though- we've found you've either got it or you don't! Fortunately, pretzels taste good in any shape.
Make up a big batch- the prep can all be done game day morning- then bake them right before kick off. Serve them straight from the oven with the warm cheese sauce and watch the fans go wild!
Whole Wheat Pretzels - 12 pretzels
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm water. Add sugar and salt. Stir to combine and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until yeast has begun to foam.
2. Add both flours to the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachement, mix(knead) the dough until smooth and elastic.
3. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
4. Combine the 3 cups of warm water with the 3 tablespoons baking soda.
5. Divide the dough into 12 balls. Roll each ball into a long rope and then shape. Dip the pretzel into the baking soda water and then place onto a greased baking sheet.
6. Once pretzels are shaped, cover loosly and let rise for another 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake the pretzels for 10-12 minutes or golden brown.
8. Brush pretzels with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and enjoy.
Gouda-Beer Cheese Sauce
1.Combine flour and butter in a small saucepan. Stir or whisk until the butter is melted and flour begins to darken (light, light brown).
2. Add beer and stir to combine.
3. Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth.
*Thank you Samish Bay Cheese for the wonderful gouda used in this recipe.