Stuffed Pretzels

These soft and chewy stuffed pretzels are like a marriage between an artichoke dip and fresh bread all in one bite. They are so good you won’t be able to eat just one. Make the dough ahead of time and put together at the last minute as they are best served warm.

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1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
4 cups flour
10 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda

Ingredients – Filling
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Gruyere, shredded
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
Pinch of smoked paprika

Start by preparing the pretzels. Mix the yeast and sugar and pour in warm water. Set aside and allow the yeast to rise (approximately 10 minutes). In the meantime, mix the flour and salt. Once the yeast has risen, add it to the flour followed by the butter. Mix together the dough and transfer to a floured surface to knead. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, folding it in thirds over itself. Once you have finished kneading the dough, cover it and let it rise for at least one hour. The dough will be smooth to the touch.

After the dough has risen, on a floured surface roll it out into a log shape and cut into 18 equal pieces. Take each piece and roll out into a thin stick approximately 22” long. Bring the two ends together to form a beaker shape (round at the bottom and straight at the top). Twist together a few times from the top and bring the twisted pieces towards you attaching to the bottom of the circle. You should have two empty slots on either side of the twisted piece.

While you are shaping the dough, bring the water to a boil with the baking soda and preheat your oven to 400°F. Drop the shaped pretzels into the water two at a time and allow them to boil for no more than 20 seconds (any more the pretzels get a metallic taste). Use a slotted spatula to remove them and place them on a baking sheet lined with silicone baking mats.

Next prepare the filling by mixing together the cream cheese into the sour cream until fully incorporated. Wilt the spinach in a dry pan for two minutes. Add the artichoke hearts (you can use the jarred ones available at Costco), wilted spinach, garlic, smoked paprika, and parsley. Mix together well. Add the cheeses until blended.

Insert one tablespoon of the filling in the slots on each pretzel. You may need to pull them apart a bit after the boiling process.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Makes 18 stuffed pretzels.

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