What you will need:
For the pretzel:
1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup beer
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 quarts water
2/3 cups baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Coarse sea salt
For the filling:
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 jar (6.7 ounce) grilled artichoke hearts, chopped
Steps to yummy goodness:
To make the pretzel dough:
1. Combine the water, brown sugar and yeast in the bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the melted butter, beer, salt, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour to the mixture and knead until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl (it takes about 3 to 4 minutes). If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
4. 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.
To make the filling:
1. 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.
2. To the same skillet 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.
3. Add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in the Greek yogurt until smooth.
4. 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!
To make everything as a whole:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Divide the pretzel dough into 8 equal balls and roll each out into a rectangle. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons spinach and artichoke dip along the length of each piece.
3. Starting with the opposite side, roll the dough up into a log, enclosing the toppings inside.
4. Pinch the seams together and then very gently roll the dough with your hands to form an even cylinder and fully enclose the filling.
5. 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.
6. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water.
7. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon.
8. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula then place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brushing the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with sea salt.
9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
10. Remove pretzels from oven and let cool five minutes.
.: Side Note:.
These can easily reheat at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
If you’re vegetarian this recipe works well without the bacon so just leave that bit out.
If you don’t want to fill the pretzels use just the first half of the recipe to make super yummy soft beer pretzels.
These are great for lunches or can paired with a salad or soup to make a light dinner.