I think this is my favorite appetizer! How can you go wrong with soft, homemade pretzels with a creamy, cheesy crab dip? You can't! I smoked the crab dip to add my kiss of smoke and it is phenomenal!
1 1/2 cups warm water (110F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
2/3 cup baking soda
10 cups of water
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, slightly warmed
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup of good quality grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound jumbo crab meat, shells removed
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. The pretzels can stick to parchment, so give it a light spray with nonstick spray. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Make sure warm water is 110F. Add salt and sugar and stir until fairly combined. Stir together the two types of flour and slowly add. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add a little more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. I made it a little smaller for appetizer sized pretzels. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. I made them a size where the ropes were just long enough to hold the shape of a medium sized, small pretzel.
Whisk 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup baking soda together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Place a pretzel onto a large slotted spatula and dip into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. No more than 30 seconds. The pretzel will float. Lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels.
Beat egg yolk and water and brush on pretzels. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 425F. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps. I slightly warm the cream cheese so it is easier to mix. On low speed, beat in the mayonnaise, grated parmesan, cheddar cheese, garlic, Worcestershire, fresh lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic powder, cayenne and Old Bay. Add the jumbo lump crab and beat for a quick 5 seconds to very slightly break up any huge lumps. Spoon into selected dish or pots (Butter or grease dish/pots) and put in smoker for 20-25 minutes. (you can also use your oven) Enjoy!
I love cooking, baking and playing with fire. My passion for cooking goes outside to my grills and smoker. I enjoy food styling ALMOST as much as sharing my passion for food! Follow me to see me in action: