Giant Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce
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30 MIN. (plus resting time)


20 MIN.



For Dipping Sauce
  • 7 oz. Camembert cheese
  • 1½ Tbs. (¾ oz.) unsalted butter
  • 3½ oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. ground caraway seed
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) wheat beer
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For Pretzels
  • 2 tsp. fresh yeast
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 17½ oz. bread flour (about 4 cups)
  • 1½ cups (12 oz.) cold water
  • Food-grade lye, for dipping the pretzels*
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling


  1. Make the dipping sauce: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the camembert cheese, butter, cream cheese, paprika, caraway, and beer and mix until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix again to incorporate.
  2. Make the pretzels: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the yeast, salt, flour, and water. Knead in the mixer for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If necessary, continue kneading by hand to achieve a silky texture. The pretzel dough should be relatively firm and not sticky. Divide the dough into 2 halves.
  3. To form a pretzel, flatten a dough half into a disc and then, using the palm of your hand, roll it into a. 30 in. long rope. The rope should be much thinner at the ends than in the middle. Now form an upside-down U shape and twirl the strands around each other once toward their ends. Then, flip the ends down to the bottom curve of the U-shape and press the ends down on the upper, thicker part of the rope to form a classic pretzel shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Transfer the pretzels to an ungreased baking sheet and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour. Then transfer them to the freezer for 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  5. Make a lye solution by mixing ½ cup lye with 10 cups water, being careful not to splash any solution into your eyes. Using latex gloves, dip the pretzels in the lye solution, turning them quickly in the solution to coat. Return to the baking sheet. Score the thick middle part of the pretzels with a sharp knife and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are well browned.
*Food-grade lye is the secret to pretzels that are soft on the inside, brown and crunchy on the outside. Cold lye can burn the eyes or skin so be careful to wear latex gloves when dipping in the lye solution and do not splash in the eyes. Lye can be purchased online or at baking supply stores.

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