I have SUCH a yummy snack to tell you about today!
Homemade soft pretzels made with pumpkin beer and subtly spiced with the flavors of the season.
And if that wasn’t good enough, a beer-mustard-cheddar dipping situation to go alongside!
How much do you love me right now? I love me A LOT at this particular moment.
Soft pretzels have to be up there as one of my favorite carby treats. They have the best texture! Soft and fluffy on the inside with the best chew on the outside. Little crispy bite here and there. And everything is doused in salt! My favorite thing.
Homemade soft pretzels are a labor of love and my whole family adores them. Kieran gets especially excited about soft pretzels. Back when we were allowed to attend sporting events, we would take him to the Phillies games and he would always ask for a soft pretzel.
A little man after my own heart!
While soft pretzels at home take a little work and patience, they are always worth it. This particular version is made with a little something extra: warming fall spices and pumpkin ale! I add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to the dough mix, and I cannot even tell you how amazing the combination smells. Especially once the pumpkin ale gets mixed in! So much flavor and aroma going on.
And yes, even though those are most of the spices found in the classic “pumpkin spice” spice mixes you find at the store, I can promise you this: they work in a savory application too! These pretzels are NOT another pumpkin spiced gimmick – the spices just add more flavor and pizzazz to the dough. These are definitely NOT a sweet pumpkin-y recipe.
Also, pizzazz? There’s a word I’ve used all of three times in my life.
After the ingredients have a little time to get to know each other and have risen to form a fluffy and pillowy dough, it’s time to form the pretzels. In my humble opinion, this is the hardest part of making pretzels at home. Mine always come out looking a little…rustic, shall we say? Meaning, you can definitely tell mine are homemade. Because that’s how they look!
I’m OK with that, though. Homemade does not mean fussy or perfect – even though my type-A self strives toward those things constantly – as long as they taste good, nothing else matters!
So, we form the pretzels – you can make any shape you like – and then boil them on the stove in a mixture of water and baking soda. This step is what gives pretzels their unmistakable flavor and texture, and you absolutely cannot skip it.
Once the pretzels are boiled, I place them on two large baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats.
A word of advice: get yourself some silicone baking mats. I have tried making pretzels on greased baking sheets, on parchment paper, on greased parchment paper – every time, the pretzels stick horribly after baking. The silicone mats are the ONLY thing that have worked to get them off the baking sheet easily. I don’t advocate for unnecessary kitchen tools, but these are definitely worth it. NOTHING sticks to them.
Once all the pretzels have been boiled, we douse them with salt and bake until crispy and deeply golden.
I like to make the cheese dipping sauce while the pretzels are baking. It’s a simple, straightforward cheddar cheese sauce, except it’s flavored with more pumpkin beer and some tangy whole grain mustard. Because what goes swimmingly with soft pretzels? Cheese! Beer! Mustard! It’s a winning combo, I promise you that.
I beg you to serve the pretzels hot out of the oven with the gooey, super flavorful cheese sauce on the side. It is heaven on earth, I tell ya.
We were one happy family of pretzel lovers when these were ready to eat. And they disappeared in record time!Print
These Spiced Pumpkin Beer Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheddar Fondue are a full of fall flavor and aroma! Made with pumpkin ale and warm spices and then dipped in the most deliciously decadent mustard cheddar beer fondue – these are a must make!
For the Pretzels:
- ½ cup warm water (you want it between 100-110°F – I check it with an instant-read thermometer)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry or instant yeast
- 1 cup pumpkin ale (or any pumpkin beer you like)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4–4½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Canola oil, for the bowl
- ¼ cup baking soda, for boiling the pretzels
- Egg wash, for brushing on before baking
- Coarse or flaky sea salt
For the Fondue:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup pumpkin ale
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Pretzels:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, and yeast and stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the beer and melted butter.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups of the flour, the salt, and the spices.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix with the dough hook on low speed until the dough comes together.
- Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough looks too sticky, gradually add in the remaining ½ cup of flour, as needed until the dough is smooth and no longer too tacky.
- Gently remove the dough from the mixing bowl, drizzle the bowl with a tablespoon of oil, and then return the dough to the bowl, turning it to coat in the oil.
- Cover the bowl and place it in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- During this time, preheat the oven to 425°F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats. In my experience, these are the only option that do not cause horrible sticking after the pretzels are baked.
- Place the risen dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands until it is smooth again. Divide it into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape by making a “U” shape with the rope and twisting the ends around each other two times and then folding it down over itself.
- Once all the pretzels have been formed, carefully and slowly add the baking soda to the pot of boiling water – do this slowly or you’ll have a mess on your hands!
- Add the pretzels, two at a time, to the boiling water and cook for 30-45 seconds. Remove the pretzels from the water using a slotted spoon or spider and place on the prepared baking sheets. Continue until all the pretzels have been boiled. Place four pretzels on each of the two baking sheets.
- Brush the pretzels with egg wash and season them liberally with the coarse salt.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pretzels are crisp and deep golden brown.
- Serve warm alongside the fondue.
For the Fondue:
- While the pretzels are baking, make the fondue by melting the butter in a saucepan. Once it’s melted, add the flour and stir to combine, cooking the mixture for 1 minute.
- Slowly stream in the beer, whisking constantly so that the butter-flour mixture incorporates. Stir in the half-and-half.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Simmer until the mixture is thickened.
- Stir in the shredded cheese and mustard and stir until the cheese is completely melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately alongside the pretzels.
If you do not want to use beer, you can sub in 1 cup of warm water for the pretzel dough. Make the recipe as directed. For the cheese fondue, you can omit the beer and sub in another 1/2 cup of half-and-half or milk.
- Category: snacks
Keywords: pumpkin beer soft pretzels, homemade soft pretzels, pumpkin soft pretzels, pumpkin beer cheese sauce, homemade soft pretzels with cheese dip