Time: 1h (+2 hours chilling)
For the obatzda
- 500g or 1lb camembert cheese (rind removed)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¾ cup mascarpone (or substitute cream cheese)
- ⅓ cup onion (finely chopped + finely sliced rings for garnish)
- 1-2 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- 4-8 tbsp wheat beer
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tbsp of chives (finely chopped)
For the pretzel
- 350 ml or 12 oz amber beer
- 1 packet (~7g or ¼ oz) dry yeast
- 2 tbsp butter (melted)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1,5 tsp salt
- 4,25 cups flour
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp water
- Coarse salt (to taste)
Start everything with the obatzda cheese sauce because it needs to chill for 2 hours.
- Roughly chop the camembert cheese. Combine the chopped camembert, mascarpone, and butter, mix it with a fork until it’s mixed, but not overly smooth.
- Add the chopped onions, half of the paprika, caraway, salt, and pepper. Adjust for seasonings as desired.
- Add half the beer and stir until combined. Keep mixing in the remaining beer a little bit at a time until the cheese reaches a scoopable consistency.
- Transfer to a sealable container or cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 2 hours. Taste and add seasonings again if necessary.
Before serving, let the obatzda sit out for a few minutes until it softens a bit. Then top with sliced onions and chives.
Now the pretzels.
- Pour the beer into a small saucepan and warm to about 43ºC or 110ºF.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the yeast until dissolved.
- Combine melted butter, sugar, salt, yeast-and-beer mixture and 3 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Then stir in the remaining flour until the dough reaches a soft, sticky consistency.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic (it takes about 6-8 minutes). Place kneaded dough in a greased bowl, turning it over once to coat the top.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Let it rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 220ºC or 425ºF.
- Remove plastic from the bowl and punch down the dough. Place punched-down dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 equally-sized balls. Roll each ball into a 60 cm or 24-in rope and twist to form the classic pretzel shape.
- In a separate pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Dropping them into the pot two at a time, boil pretzels for 30 seconds. Remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess water.
- For the topping, whisk egg yolk and water together in a small bowl. Place boiled pretzels 2 in apart on greased cookie sheets and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack before serving.