Cooks on Main
Pretzel Bites with Cheddar-Mustard Dip

Pretzel Bites with Cheddar-Mustard Dip
Serves 8-10

If you go to the Munich Oktoberfest, you’re bound to enjoy a pretzel or two! Distinguished from crispy, thin versions, these pretzels are more bread than cracker. The classic bread pretzel typically appears as a knot, but our version features small, pillowy bites, suitable for a one-to-two bite experience. We’ve paired these pretzel bites with a simple four-ingredient dip that complements these salty bites perfectly!

Pretzel Bites
3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 pkg, active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
Oil for coating the bowl
2.5 quarts water (10 cups)
8 tablespoons baking soda.
1 egg, beaten

Cheddar-Mustard Dip
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1/2 cup beer (or water)
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
Pinch of cayenne

Pretzel Bite Directions:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle, stir together the flour, and salt.

2. In a small bowl, place the butter, cut into small chunks, and sugar. Pour in hot water (about 110°F), sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to set until the yeast blooms. Stir gently until the butter has softened or fully melted.

3. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture with the stand mixer running on its lowest setting. Beat until well-combined. Shift to dough hook and knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes on low speed.

4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled about 1- to-1.5 hours. Punch down and knead into a ball. Return to the oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

6. Turn the dough onto a lightly dusted surface and form a ball. Cut the dough ball into four parts with a dough cutter. Roll each quarter-piece into a long rope about 1-inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-to-1.5-inch pieces, about 8-10 pieces from each rope. (If desired, roll each piece into a ball if you prefer a more finished look.)

7. Using a large pot, measure 2.5 quarts of water and 8 tablespoons baking soda. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil the dough pieces in batches without overcrowding the pan by plopping 10-12 dough pieces into the boiling water. As they rise to the surface of the water (which they will do quickly – about 30 seconds), remove them with a slotted spoon and spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until all batches are complete. Brush the top of each pretzel piece with the egg wash. Immediately sprinkle with coarse salt while still wet.

8. Immediately bake in the hot, pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, watching closely. The pretzel bites will turn nicely brown. Cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy while still warm, or store in an airtight container once cooled for up to 24 hours.

Cheddar-Mustard Dip Directions:
9. In a small saucepan, heat the beer (or water). Add the stoneground mustard and cayenne, and stir to combine. Add the grated cheese; stir gently to melt the cheese while continuing to heat over low heat. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and serve while warm.



Dry Ingredients

Yeast Blooming

Rough Dough

Formed Dough Ball

Dough Cut in Quarters

Dough Ropes

Ready to Bake with Egg Wash

Baked Bites

Grated Cheese

Cheese Dip

Bratwurst with Braised Sauerkraut
Serves 4-6

Hearty brats paired with onions and sauerkraut form the basis of a fabulous tailgate, or autumn party. Our method for cooking the brats preserves their moistness and deliciousness. We’ve infused the brats with apple cider (or beer) and onions for an extra flavor dimension. The sauerkraut preparation transforms something sour into something silky and full of flavor. If you’ve never enjoyed sauerkraut in the past, try this one – you’ll discover that you love it after all!

Braised Sauerkraut Ingredients:
2 quarts sauerkraut (64 oz.)
1/2 oz. bacon, diced
1 lb. button mushrooms, finely diced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Bratwurst Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
2 large yellow onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic
4 cups apple cider (or beer)
10 bratwurst

1. Begin by preparing the braised sauerkraut. Drain and rinse the sauerkraut. Allow continued draining by setting aside in the colander.

2. In a large (3 qt.) sauté pan, fry the bacon pieces until crispy. Remove the pan from heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon crumbles from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the bacon fat by pouring into a heatproof glass measuring cup or bowl.

3. In the same pan, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until all the liquid has evaporated. Add two additional tablespoons of the bacon fat, then add the carrots, bay leaf, pepper, and chicken stock to the pan along with the mushrooms. Add the drained sauerkraut, stir to evenly combine all the ingredients. Simmer at the lowest setting possible for 1 hour. Check periodically, stirring gently.

5. To prepare the brats, melt the butter in a braiser or other low, broad pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until tender and translucent, about 15-20 minutes, or until they just begin to caramelize. In the last few minutes of sautéing, add the garlic, sauté for an additional minute.

6. Add the apple cider (or beer) to the onions, followed by the brats. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the brats have reached an internal temperature of 160F.

7. Heat a grill pan (or outdoor grill) over medium heat. Transfer the brats to the heated grill pan and roast turning to achieve a nice brown color and grill marks on all sides. Once grilled, transfer the brats back into the braiser, with the onions and apple cider (or beer) and hold over the lowest heat setting until ready to serve.

8. The brats may be served in a variety of ways. (a) Serve the brats with a generous helping of onions and a side of the braised sauerkraut topped with the bacon crumbles, or (b) Serve the brats in a bun topped with the braised sauerkraut and a good smear of mustard.


Sauerkraut Ingredients

Frying Bacon

Saute of Veggies


Sliced Onions in Braiser

Brats in Braiser

Brats Swimming in Braiser

Grilling Brats on Bistro Pan

Grilled Brats in Braiser with Onions

Cooks on Main • 701.572.2665 • 224 main st. • williston, nd • 58801 • Copyright 2016 • Acorn Advisors