FOR THE PRETZEL DOUGH
½ cup warm water (heated to between 105 and 110°F.)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1packet)
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Beer
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted + extra for brushing
4 cups unbleached, all purpose flour + extra for dusting
Coarse salt for sprinkling
FOR THE BAKING SODA BATH
½ cup baking soda
9 cups water
FOR THE CHEESE DIP
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper, more to taste depending on desired heat level
½ cup Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Beer
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
Coarse salt to taste
FOR THE PRETZELS
Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare two baking sheets each with a greased parchment paper.
Activate the yeast: whisk warm water, yeast, and brown sugar together in a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. Be patient! If yeast is activated, you will see foam on top of the mixture, and even a few small bubbles. Also, if you take sniff, it will smell very much like yeast.
Add melted butter, Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Beer, and salt. Whisk until combined.
If using a standing mixer, fit it with the dough hook. Add flour 1 cup at a time up to 3 cups, stirring in between until combined. Add ½ cup of flour and stir until combined until dough is thick. If it is still sticky, add remaining flour ¼ cup at a time as needed.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 4-5 minutes until dough is smooth. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make the baking soda bath. In a large pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil.
Once dough is done resting, use a pizza cutter or a large knife to cut it into 12 equal sections (about ⅓ of a cup each). Roll each section into a long rope about 22 inches long and with a thickness of ½ inch or less.
Twist each rope into a pretzel shape: bring the ends of the rope together to form a circle. Twist the ends and then bring them back down towards you to create the shape (see notes for photo*).
Dip each pretzel in the boiling baking soda bath for 25 seconds, no more than 30 seconds. Otherwise your pretzels will get an icky metallic taste to them. Remove from the bath with a slotted spoon, let water drip off for a few seconds, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt as desired. Up to 6 pretzels per sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat, brush with extra melted butter and top with more coarse salt if desired.
FOR THE CHEESE DIP
Melt butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
Whisk in pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and spices until thoroughly mixed.
Slowly pour in milk and Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Beer and mix until completely combined.
Reduce heat to low. Gently stir in cheeses and mix until completely combined. Remove from heat.
Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.