Soft pretzels filled with spinach and feta pushes the classic soft pretzel into the center of the limelight.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (between 90°F and 110°)
- 1 packet active dry yeast (7g)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 480g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 cup baking soda for boiling
- 50g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 284g (10oz packed) chopped frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 227g (8oz package) crumbled feta cheese
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Black pepper to taste, freshly cracked preferred
- Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine water, yeast, brown sugar, and butter
- Add salt and flour. Knead on medium high until dough is smooth and springs back with touched. About 5 minutes.
- Transfer to an oiled bowl, turning dough over once to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in a cool spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Filling: While dough is rising prepare filling. Using a rubber spatula, beat cream cheese to lighten. Mix in spinach, parmesan and garlic. Gently stir in feta, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
- Shaping: Once dough has doubled, preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare baking sheet with well-greased parchment or silicone baking mat.
- Dust counter with flour and place dough on top. Punch down and divide into 8 equal portions.
- Roll one portion into an 18″ rope using your hands. With a rolling pin, flatten into a 3″ wide rectangle.
- Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of filling down the center of the rectangle, leaving about 1/2″ clear on each short edge.
- Starting with the long edge further away from you, pull over filling to cover, and continue rolling inward until you have a rope again. Continue rolling to ensure the edges are sealed and the dough is smooth.
- To create pretzel shape, create a “U” shape with the rope. Cross one end over the other. Repeat to create a double twist. The twist should start about 1/2″ in from the tips of the rope. Pull the tips of the twist down to the bottom curve of the “U” and press together (see photos). Once pretzel is shaped, you may need to pull the loops apart to create a more airy shape.
- While working on one pretzel, keep others covered with dish towel. If dough is springing back while rolling, set aside for a few minutes to work on another pretzel to let it rest.
- In a wide dutch oven or pot, boil water with 1/2 cup of baking soda.
- Working in batches of 2 or 3 depending on size of pot, gently place pretzels into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove using a slotted spoon or spider. Place on a rack to drip while working on remaining pretzels.
- Transfer boiled pretzels to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top if desired before baking for 20-22 minutes. Pretzels should be a deep shiny golden brown.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
- Refresh pretzels for 10 minutes on 350°F if necessary. Baked pretzels can be frozen. Reheat for 15 minutes if heating from frozen.
Keywords: soft pretzel recipe