Actually, they are soft beer pretzels, but that just sounded a little funny.
Oh my gosh. You guys.
Yes, I went there.
I stuffed spinach and artichoke dip into a soft pretzel. And not just any old pretzel. Nope, I made beer soft pretzels. It just seemed right and so logical.
I mean, we are exactly one week out from the start of football.
And we all know the sole reason why I am excited about this. Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with touch downs and everything to do with the food. Football food rules.
There’s the dips, the chips, the burgers, the sliders, the snack mixes, the CHILI (can’t wait!), the corn bread, the beer bread and… I could go on, but I have a feeling I am killing my eldest brother who may or may not be reading this. He’s either starving right now and dying for some good home cooked food or lying in his bed with stomach pains and wishing he would not have defrosted the (over a year and half old) gumbo that he stole from my grandmas freezer before she almost threw it out last night.
I have not heard from him all day so I’d say that’s a good sign. Then again, maybe it’s not!
Anyway, I am obviously excited, and to be honest, ready for a new season.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE summer and all the produce that comes with it. In fact, I would be the happiest girl if the summer produce never left. The fresh tomatoes, the blueberries, the strawberries, the stone fruits and the corn. But I have exhausted all the recipes my brain can think up of summer food. With the end of summer comes the crisp apples, the pumpkins and the warm and cheesy comfort foods.
Don’t worry though, I will not be posting pumpkin anytime super soon.
And by that, I mean over the next week or so. After that all bets are off. It will be September and I have a feeling my un patient self will get the better of me and start digging into the first pumpkin I see.
alright, so here is the deal the deal with these pretzels.
If you can make pizza dough, you can make these. They are easy and I promise rolling the dough out is even easier than rolling out pizza dough. You can thank the butter for that, it keeps the dough from sticking and makes for one awesome pretzel. Well, that and the beer that I added for just the slightest flavor that totally boosted these guys over the top amazing.
The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise, which only takes an hour.
While the dough rises you can make the dip, which is the same dip that I used for these Spinach and Artichoke Melts that are maybe my favorite sandwich ever. Seriously, check them out.
And well, the bacon is pretty awesome in my opinion, is totally optional. Especially if you want to make this a vegetarian friendly meal. Err, I guess this is more of an appetizer, but we totally ate these for dinner. With like nothing else. It was awesome.
When the dough is ready you just divide it into eight equal balls and roll them out into rectangles. Fill the middle with some dip and roll um up!!
Then gently roll the dough between your hands until you get a nice even rope and shape it into a pretzel!
Don’t worry if there are a few holes or if your pretzels don’t look like pretzels.
I promise, they are going to taste good and they’ll look good in their own way because they are pretty no matter what. They are also going to be giant so handle them carefully when dropping them into the water and taking them out. You do not want to tear the pretzel before it’s baked. But there will most likely be holes and they are going to ooze. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Sometimes the imperfections just work!
If you wanted to make things easier you can of course just make pretzels stuffed balls, but honestly making the pretzels shape was easier than I thought, but it’s totally up to you!
Oh, and if you are making these for a party and want to bake them ahead of time you totally can. Just re-heat the pretzels at 350 for 15 minutes or so!
Pull them out and let people ooh and awe over them! They are kind of that amazing.
LIke the roll your eyes back, oh my gosh this is so good, amazing. Trust me, I have seen this first hand. It happens.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Beer Soft Pretzels
- Yields: 8 Giant Pretzels
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cook time: 24 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Soft Beer Pretzels
- 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 cup beer
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- Canola oil, to grease bowl
- 3 quarts water, for boiling the pretzels
- 2/3 cups baking soda, for boiling the pretzels
- 1 egg, beaten, for brushing before baking
- Coarse sea salt
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip Filling
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%, but whatever you have will be fine)
- 1 ounce cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 0%)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup (about 5 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 (6.7 ounce) jar grilled artichoke hearts or you can sub marinated artichokes, chopped
To make the pretzel dough, combine the water, brown sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the melted butter, beer, salt, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour to the mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Coat a large bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to roll out the dough make the filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until all fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, stirring often. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place to drain on a paper towel. To the same skillet (if not using the bacon start here),
melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook one minute, if your paste gets too thick splash in more milk.
Add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in the greek yogurt until smooth. Chop artichokes and spinach and add to the sauce. Add the bacon, stir to combine. Dip will be thick, just use some muscle and stir in those veggies!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Divide the pretzel dough into 8 equal balls and roll each out into a rectangle (about 11x3 inches). Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons spinach and artichoke dip along the length of each piece. Starting with the opposite side, roll the dough up into a log, enclosing the toppings inside. Pinch the seams together and then very gently roll the dough with your hands to form an even cylinder and fully enclose the filling.
Take the two ends of each filled cylinder and form into a circle that is overlapped by a couple of inches of dough on either side, twist the ends and lay over the opposite side to form a pretzel shape and press to seal. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with sea salt. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
Remove pretzels from oven and let cool five minutes. EAT!!
Or if needed you can reheat the pretzels at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
Seriously, just make these. Pretty please!