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Pretzel Hamburger with Beer Cheese Sauce

I recently had a hankering for soft pretzels, cheese, and sausage.  What better way to combine them all by making a sausage burger topped with a beer cheese sauce and sandwiched in a pretzel bun?  I also added sauerkraut on top for an Oktoberfest feel.

I bought some sausage links at the grocery store, removed the casings, then formed the patties.  Next time I think I would combine the sausage with ground beef for a more traditional, but also sausage-flavored burger.




















Pretzel Rolls
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 kosher salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.


In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes.


Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.


When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

Smoky Beer Cheddar Cheese Sauce
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground chile de arbol (can substitute cayenne pepper)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup beer, Belgian style wheat beer
½ cup chicken broth
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ cup half & half
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Add flour and whisk; allow flour to cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the ‘floury’ taste.  Add garlic, chile, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Whisk to combine. 

Slowly add beer and chicken broth.  Whisk until there are no lumps.  Add cheese and whisk constantly until you have a smooth mixture.  Add half & half and Worstershire.  Reduce heat to low, until ready to serve, whisking occasionally.

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