CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — Graduation is right around the corner — and if you’re hosting a party for the graduate in your life, you might want to consider a hot pretzel bar.

Chef Maureen Leonard from the Cuyahoga Community College Hospitality Management Center of Excellence at Public Square brought several graduating culinary seniors to demonstrate a soft pretzel bar (including a variety of dips) that is perfect for your next celebration.

Soft Pretzels
Bread flour, 4 cups
Dry Yeast, 1 packet
Water, tepid, ¾ cup
Butter, room temperature,
Honey, 1 teaspoon
Salt, 2 teaspoons
Oil for cookie sheet
Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda: 10 tablespoons
Hot water: 8 cups
Pretzel salt, as needed
Toppings as needed such as cinnamon sugar, beer cheese dip, honey mustard sauce
Yield: four 5 ½ ounce soft pretzels

  1. Add the water, butter, honey, and salt to the mixer, then add the flour and yeast. Mix with the
    dough hook attachment on low speed for 2 minutes and on medium speed for 6 minutes.
    Alternatively, knead by hand for approximately 15-20 minutes. The dough should be strong and
    feel tight.
  2. 2. Set the dough aside covered with a damp cloth in a warm space until nearly doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 5½-oz pieces, or into four equal parts.
  4. Shape the dough into small oblongs and place under plastic wrap. Let the dough rest, covered,
    until relaxed, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Roll each piece of dough into long ropes, leaving the center slightly thicker, about should with in
  6. Lay the dough on the table and cross the ends over each other twist the ends together once.
    Bring the ends of the dough over and attach them to either side of the thicker center of the
    dough, pressing gently to seal them.
  7. Place dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet covering loosely with a damp towel.
  8. Let pretzels rise until dough slightly gives to the touch, Approximately 40 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan. until the dough gives slightly when touched, about 30
  10. Place the pretzels into the refrigerator until a skin forms, about 25 minutes. 9. To prepare the
    baking soda mixture, bring the water to a boil and add it to the large amount of baking soda and
    stir until completely dissolved.
  11. Sprinkle the pretzels immediately with coarse salt. Slice the thickest part of each pretzel.
  12. Place the pretzels on sheet pans lined with a silicone mat or lightly oiled parchment paper and
    bake in a 450 F until deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely on racks.
    Beer Cheese Dip
    unsalted butter, 2 Tablespoons
    all-purpose flour 3 Tablespoons
    whole milk 3/4 cup
    2/3 cup Sibling Revelry Brewing Triceratops IPA
    Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon
    Whole grain mustard 1 teaspoon
    One jalapeno small dice
    garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon
    smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon
    salt 1/4 teaspoon
    2 and 1/2 cups (10 ounces) cubed sharp cheddar cheese
    Pepper to taste
  13. Cube cheese into one inch or smaller, set aside
  14. Make a roux by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and adding the
    flour. Whisk together until a thick and paste forms, about 1 minute.
  15. Pour the milk into the roux and continue whisking until it slightly thickens, about 1 minute.
  16. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  17. Remove the cheese dip from heat and pour into a serving dish. The dip with thicken as it cools.
  18. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or over low heat on the
    stovetop to serve again.