Soft Pretzels With Pumpkin Beer Cheese in a Multi-Cooker

November 30, 2021
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes 6 pretzels
Author Notes

Bring the gastropub vibes home with this classic bar food that never gets old: soft pretzels with beer cheese. Here, I’ve added seasonal pumpkin puree and a splash of pumpkin ale to the beer cheese for a pretzel dip that feels extra fall-ready.

To cut the proofing time by half or more, I used the PROOF setting on my Ninja® Foodi® XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid™ to activate the yeast and expedite the proofing process. And to transform the dough into perfectly fluffy, golden-brown pretzels, I used the STEAM & CRISP function, which (you guessed it) steams and crisps at the same time for always-tender, crispy results. —Maki Yazawa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Ninja™, and was developed using the Ninja® Foodi® XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid™.

Accessories and tools needed: Hand or Stand Mixer, Cook & Crisp Basket, Silicone Baking Mat (or parchment paper), Deluxe Reversible Rack (both layers) —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Soft Pretzels With Pumpkin Beer Cheese in a Multi-Cooker
  • For the pretzels:
  • 1 cup water (at 115°F)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 packet active dry yeast (⅛ ounce)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 400 grams)
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tablespoon Maldon sea salt or kosher salt, for garnish
  • For the beer cheese:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin ale or light beer
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. For the pretzels:
  2. In a large stand mixer bowl, combine the warm water, brown sugar, and yeast. Stir and let sit for a few minutes until the yeast begins to bubble.
  3. Add the salt and flour, 1 cup at a time, while mixing the dough at low speed in the stand mixer with a hook attachment. When the dry and wet ingredients are combined, continue to slowly add the flour in parts and increase the speed of the mixer to medium-low. If the dough feels too wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough ball forms. Knead the dough in the mixer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until a ball begins to form and the dough isn’t very sticky to the touch.
  4. Line the Cook & Crisp Basket with a nonstick silicone baking mat (or parchment paper), and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough ball to the basket. Place the basket in the pot. Close the lid, then move the slider to AIR FRY/STOVETOP.
  5. Select PROOF, set temperature to 95°F, and set time to 30 minutes. Press START/STOP to begin the rise. When the rise is complete, remove the basket.
  6. Once the dough has risen, remove it from the basket, and divide into 6 equal portions. Take each piece, and on a floured work surface, roll the dough into a foot-and-a-half long rope. Create a U-shape with the dough, and holding the two ends, twist them together about 2 inches away from the tips. Then, connect the ends towards the base of the “U” to form a pretzel shape.
  7. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, carefully add the baking soda (as the liquid can boil over the sides) and lower to a simmer. Gently drop each pretzel into the liquid, and cook for 30 seconds, flipping them once halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet using a slotted spoon.
  8. In a shallow plate, spread the cornmeal. Coat the bottom of each pretzel with a thin layer of cornmeal to prevent sticking when cooking.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the mixture and season with kosher or Maldon salt.
  10. To the pot, add 1/2 cup of water. Lightly coat both layers of the Deluxe Reversible Rack in nonstick cooking spray. Place 2 pretzels on the bottom layer of the Deluxe Reversible Rack, then place the rack in the pot. Slide the Deluxe Layer through the lower layer’s handles. Place 2 pretzels on the Deluxe Layer.
  11. Close the lid and move slider to STEAMCRISP. Select STEAM & CRISP, set temperature to 375°F, and set time to 7 minutes. PrE will display for approx. 8 minutes as the unit steams, then the timer will start counting down. Cook until the pretzel crusts are golden-brown; add an additional 2 minutes of cook time, if needed.
  12. When cooking is complete, remove the pretzels. Place the remaining uncooked pretzels on the bottom layer of the Deluxe Reversible Rack and repeat the cooking process; you may also need to replenish the water.
  13. Serve the pretzels warm with the pumpkin beer cheese.
  1. For the beer cheese:
  2. Close lid and move slider to AIR FRY/STOVETOP. Select SEAR/SAUTE and set to 4. Open lid and select START/STOP to begin preheating. Allow the unit to preheat for 5 minutes.
  3. Once the unit is preheated, add the butter and flour to the pot. Stir to combine and cook until the mixture forms a roux, about 4 minutes (or until it bubbles and slightly darkens in color).
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and cook until fully melted and creamy (it should have a similar thickness to fondue). Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm with the soft pretzels.

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