Hallo und guten Tag, yogi's!
Ever since I posted my homemade (and vegan!) pretzels and nacho beer cheese, I have been receiving a lot of requests for the recipe. So here it is!
I promise, even though it seems like a lot, making pretzels is surprisingly easy (a lot more so than I thought they would be at least). The nacho cheese is also super simple, can be made with or without the beer, and is a great way to sneak in some veggies. Since we are in quarantine, I made note of a couple of things I was out of that you could try at home.
For the Pretzels:
•1 cup warm water (roughly 100 degrees or just put cold water in the microwave for 40 seconds)
•2 tbsp cane sugar
•1 packet active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. (if you have instant or rapid rise that is good too)
•2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
•1/2 tsp salt
•2 tbsp vegan butter, melted
For browning pretzels:
•1/4 cup baking soda
•Melted vegan butter and coarse salt
•Optional, you can try Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Seasoning!
1.) Mix warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and set side. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. It will be a little foamy and bubbly on the top. Note, if using instant or rapid rise yeast, it may not "activate" as much because it is technically already active yeast, so don't worry.
2.) Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt. When the yeast mixture is ready, mix that into your flour along with the melted butter. I find it easiest to use a wooden spoon or spatula. Once the dough starts to form together, flour your hands and knead your dough for a few (roughly 3-5) minutes.
3.) Grease a bowl with a little oil or more melted vegan butter, place the dough in the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for one hour. I find it rises best on top of the oven with the stove light on. Feel free to prepare your nacho cheese while you are waiting for your dough to rise.
4.) Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer.
5.) Remove the dough from the bowl and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (for larger pretzels, just divide the dough into roughly 5 pieces - you can play with this). Roll each piece into a long rope (it's okay if they seem fairly thin, they will puff up. I redid my first and second ones once I got the hang of it). To shape into pretzels, take the ends and twist them around one another twice, pinch the ends together, and then pinch those combined ends to the middle of the dough. You can also try flipping the pretzel over so the pinched side is on the bottom. There is really no right or wrong way, and you can use your fingers to shape them out more. Place finished pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet.
6. Once all of your pretzels are formed, very carefully and slowly add the 1/4 cup baking soda to the simmering water. The water will fizz and foam up a lot when the baking soda is first added. Using a spatula, drop the pretzels into the water one at a time for roughly 10 seconds. It's okay if they are left in a little longer or for less time. This process is what allows the pretzels to brown and create the outer "shell" when baking in the oven (note, they are still white when you pull them from the baking soda bath). Place pretzels back on the baking sheet, brush with the melted vegan butter & sprinkle with the coarse salt.
7.) Bake for 12-14 minutes and enjoy!
Note: These babies are best eaten same day, but can be stored at room temp for a few days or frozen.
Nacho Beer Cheese
Ingredients: •1 cup chopped Yukon gold potatoes (I was out and used russet, so work with what you have) •1 cup chopped carrots •1/2 cup raw cashews •1/2 to 3/4 cup beer* (we've used a pale ale and a pils - use your fav) •1/4 cup nutritional yeast •1 tbsp. lemon juice •1 tsp salt •1/2 tsp. garlic powder •1/2 tsp. onion powder
•Pinch of cayenne and smoked paprika, optional
•Reserved boiling water*
•Optional but HIGHLY recommended - 1 tbsp. green chilis or up to 1/4 cup sliced jalapeños (we used 1 tbsp. green chilis from a can and it made a huge, very tasty, difference)
Directions: 1.) In a pot, boil the potatoes, carrots and cashews together until the veggies are fork tender. When veggies are done, before straining the water, reserve up to a cup of the hot water.
2.) Place veggies and cashews in a blender along with the beer (start with a 1/2 cup - you can taste and add more), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, seasonings and chilis or jalapeños if using. Blend until smooth.
*Note: If you only add 1/2 cup of beer, use the reserved hot water, 1-2 tbsp. at a time, to help loosen the mixture and keep it warm. We liked it thicker, but you can play with the consistency that you want. If kids will be eating this, you can try using the beer, but once everything is blended, pour the cheese into a pot and bring to a simmer to help burn off alcohol (no guarantees, parents). If not using beer at all, just swap it out with the reserved boiling water.