Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free)

Bar pretzels are probably among some of the world’s most perfect food.

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free) // The Pancake Princess

By bar pretzels, I mean those soft pretzels that a lot of bars will offer. Those places where you’re supposed to be paying attention to drinks. I don’t normally order food at bars (and I really haven’t been to enough to know if good soft pretzels are more of a rule or exception) but I’ve experienced my fair share of exceptional bar pretzels: soft, steamy, yeasty insides with bronzed, chewy outsides, impossibly buttery and crunchy with salt.

These are really different from those pretzels (yes, different from that perfect food. But still.). For one, they’re stuffed with my absolute favorite spinach and artichoke dip (so vegan. So healthy.) For another, they’re made out of chickpea flour and almond flour which means they’re nutty and grainy, not soft and smooth. Protein and nutrient-packed instead of a nutritional wasteland!

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free) // The Pancake Princess

I got the idea for stuffed pretzels from Tieghan and decided to try the gluten-free pretzel from Wheat Belly as the pretzel base. I’m not hugely enthusiastic about most Wheat Belly recipes since a lot of them use an incredible amount of almond flour—the use of which in baking is up for debate, not to mention how incredibly caloric the stuff is—but I was really curious to see if these would turn out.

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free) // The Pancake Princess

Well, the dough seemed incredibly too soft for pretzels even with liquid-sucking chickpea flour and flaxseed, so I added some extra chickpea flour, which seemed to do the trick. The dough was still pretty wet and sticky during the stuffing step, but I found that wetting my hands before dealing with the dough helped prevent some sticking.

Because there’s no gluten, the dough is nowhere near as stretchy as conventional pretzel dough, which means there was no way to stuff them AND create pretzel shapes the way Tieghan did. So I tried them two ways: as pretzel rolls—stuffed into a ball and dunked into a baking soda bath before baking—and simply rolled up into a baked log, strudel-style. I liked the pretzel rolls slightly better since there was an actual, distinct pretzel-like bite, but the log wasn’t far behind in terms of taste and required way less hands-on time.

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free) // The Pancake Princess

So did they turn out or what?

Yes! I have no doubt that stuffed yeasty white flour pretzels would be amazing, but I kind of really liked the combo of these nutty, golden-doughed pretzels paired with that addictively fresh-tasting dip. It’s all around wholesome, delicious and satisfying.

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free)

Prep Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12-16 pretzel rolls or two large logs

Nutty golden pretzel dough made out of chickpea and almond flour is stuffed with creamy vegan spinach and artichoke dip to make these healthy and delicious power pretzels!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch vegan spinach and artichoke dip

  • ¾ cup water (100-110F)—I microwaved tap water for 20 seconds to get approximately the right temperature
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 slightly heaped teaspoon rapid-rise yeast (half a packet)

  • 1 ¼ cups chickpea flour
  • 1 scant cup almond meal or flour
  • ½ cup ground golden flaxseed
  • 1 scant teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (try subbing olive oil to make vegan)

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda

Instructions

Whisk together the warm water and sugar until dissolved, then whisk in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy.

Whisk together the flours, flaxseed and salt. Stir in the melted butter, then the yeast mixture. Set aside in a warm place (I put my dough in the microwave thanks to this trick) and let rise for an hour.

The dough will not rise drastically, but it should look a little puffed after an hour. Sprinkle a clean surface with additional chickpea flour.

For pretzel buns: Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6-8 equal pieces of dough. To prevent the dough from cementing to your hand, wet your palm with some water before flattening a piece of dough in your palm to form a rough circle. Add a tablespoon of dip to the center of the dough and pinch the dough closed. Repeat until all balls have been stuffed.

Bring a pot of about 6-8 cups of water to a rolling boil and add 3 tablespoons baking soda. Drop the dough balls into the water and let cook for about 60 seconds. The balls are very dense and will not float to the top; I fished mine out of the bottom of the pot with a slotted spoon.

Place balls on a baking sheet and brush with milk or a bit of egg, then finish with a generous sprinkling of salt. Bake for 15 minutes at 425F degrees, then for another 10 minutes at 350, or until browned and firm to the touch.

For baked logs: Divide dough into two parts. Pat each half of dough into rough rectangles, about 4”x10” and ½-inch tall. Spoon a few tablespoons of dip down the center of each rectangle.

Fold the edges of the rectangle around the dip, sealing all edges. The dough will be sticky and may tear in parts, but it’s okay if a few peeks of spinach poke out. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Transfer to a baking sheet, brush with milk or a bit of egg and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and firm.

Notes

Adapted from Wheat Belly.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2013/12/17/spinach-artichoke-stuffed-pretzels-gluten-free/

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26 thoughts on “Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels (gluten-free)

  1. Pingback: Chickpea Gingersnaps | The Pancake Princess

  2. laurasmess

    These look delicious. I had no idea that stuffed pretzels even existed… in Aussieland we’re mostly accustomed to the packet-version small pretzels that are completely crunchy and not at all doughy. We’re slowly seeing some soft pretzel stands appear around the country but I don’t think any of them sell gorgeous stuffed pretzels like these! Let me just say: Y-U-M. I want. Now!!! Sigh… I guess (since we’re not next door neighbours) I’ll just have to get my mixing bowl out and make some :) Thanks for the recipe E! Love it x

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Ahh!! Crunchy pretzels are delicious in certain contexts but soft pretzels…swoon. Whole ‘nother story. PLEASE get you some stuffed soft pretzels asap! They are so good!!

      Reply
  3. Joanne

    How have I never had a good bar pretzel?! I mean…I haven’t been to a bar in a few years. So maybe that’s it? Hmm I’ll just make yours at home. WIth a beer. And pretend I”m at a bar. 😛

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Haha okay maybe I’m making this whole bar pretzel thing up since no one seems to know what I’m talking about! But that sounds like an excellent plan :)

      Reply
  4. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Gluten free stuffed pretzels for the win! These look amazing, Erika. I could probably spoon that filling straight into my mouth and call it a meal. As for the whole almond flour debate, I don’t use it all the time so I’m not going to sweat it. Sure, I usually end up eating the entire batch myself *guilty face* but whatevs!

    Reply
  5. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life

    First, stuffed soft pretzels need to be more popular. Two, you just put my favorite dip in my favorite snack. Like, what is the proper response to this!? And finally, I’m so impressed you figured out and stuck with the gf pretzel and figured out the variations on shape. You rock, Erika, these are proof!

    Reply
  6. Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin

    Wait. Bar pretzels? Is this a Texas thing or am I that out of the loop? I have never heard of such a thing! I think of MALL pretzels (ahem, Auntie Anne’s – yum!) but not bar pretzels. Fascinated. You know I have a birthday in October, right? So you should probbbbbably start thinking of what delicious food you’re going to send. And spinach and artichoke – totally just made spinach and artichoke mac and cheese cups (not my recipe, but DELICIOUS) and about to be on the blog if I can get my lazy butt off the couch long enough to blog haha.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Lol ummm gosh maybe it’s a Texas thing? I guess I haven’t really spent that much time in any other state while of drinking age :) Ugh did you ever have Wetzel’s pretzels? So good. Mall pretzels ARE super delicious, but my experience with them have been slightly doughier than pretzels from some bars I’ve been to…they just seem like sort-of more authentic pretzels to me, but I could just have gotten lucky. Or I’m just weird. Oh my goshhh I’m obsessed with all things spinach and artichoke now so that sounds so good!!!

      Reply
  7. Two Red Bowls

    Yummm. I love the cute little round pretzel bites! I have a feeling they are way better for you than the pretzel bites I usually eat… those honey mustard pretzel pieces covered in sodium and I’m pretty sure crack. So deadly. I’ve been meaning to try to make pretzels — love yours!

    Reply
  8. The Vegan 8

    These look absolutely delicious Erika, I mean seriously delicious! I love spinach artichoke dip and it stuffed inside an almond crust, YUM!! Oh, and I glanced at that article and chuckled a little….there is always one article praising a food, while another is bashing it. The same people who say grains are bad, are downing excessive amounts of bacon and eggs….have any of them actually looked into how bacon is made?? Almonds are a whole food and a nutritious one and I have never gained any extra weight from using almond flour…I’d take it ANY DAY over processed wheat and white flours…which have no nutritional benefit whatsoever. Today’s wheat is garbage and is not like the wheat produced decades ago. I try to eat very little wheat. Also, we shouldn’t consume excess baked goods anyways, so even if almond flour is in a recipe, don’t eat the whole thing at once, lol! That article is pushing a coconut flour too over almond flour, unfortunately those 2 flours perform completely different and taste different….I find coconut flour disgusting and can only use trace amounts. The same saying that applies to ALL foods (except veggies), all things in moderation! :) My motto is to eat whole foods, and eat homemade. I’ve been doing that for the past 1 1/2 years and lost all of my weight and have never been healthier.
    I need to try and make these soon….haven’t used chickpea flour before because I’ve heard mixed reviews, but with the other ingredients, I’m sure it works!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Oh my gosh I KNOW. I do not understand the paleo diet. And I totally agree about people bashing different foods–I think I rolled my eyes the first time I read that article, but I think it has a bit of merit in terms of reminding people to eat almond flour in moderation. A lot of “healthy” baked goods recipes use so much almond flour that it can be excessive if you “accidentally” eat 2 muffins instead of 1. In any case, I thought that might be an interesting read for anyone who bakes with almond flour.

      I really love chickpea flour…my other favorite thing to make with it are chickpea fries! You should try them–they’re sooo good!

      Reply

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