BEET PRETZEL TWISTS STUFFED WITH CHEESE AND PISTACHIO PESTO + A GIVEAWAY!

Beet Pretzel Twists with Pistachio Pesto | Stuffed with cheese and dunked in pesto, these twists are perfection! #pretzels
Oh, friends! Just feast your eyes on these lovely Beet Pretzel Twists! You would never guess that they are stuffed to the gills with the cheesiest most gorgeous Pistachio Pesto. But they are. 

Beet Pretzel Twists with Pistachio Pesto | Stuffed with cheese and dunked in pesto, these twists are perfection! #pretzels
I have long had a fascination with beets. When I was a child, I refused to eat them. They always made my dinner plate look like a blood bath. But as I grew, I learned to appreciate their singular fuschia beauty. Especially when beet puree is mixed into dough.
Beet Pretzel Dough via Club Narwhal #pretzel #beets
You might remember my Beet Bagels from a few months ago. I have since added beets to pretty much every dough imaginable, though our favorite has been what Warren dubbed “Beetza”–beet pizza dough!
Beet Pretzel Dough via Club Narwhal #Pretzel #beets
But back to these Beet Pretzel Twists. You must make these, if just for the fuchsia dough, which will make you smile for days. Plus, making pretzels at home is so much fun. And there really is nothing like a soft pretzel fresh from the oven.
You can make this dough into all sorts of pretzel variations–rolls, bites, regular twists–but I like them twisted like my favorite glazed donut. You can stuff the pretzels or not, though if you stuff them, I would definitely be generous with the shredded cheese. We added ricotta to ours and it kind of melted into the dough (not a bad thing at all).
Beet Pretzel Twists Stuffed with Cheese and Pesto via Club Narwhal
Here’s a close up of that gorgeous crust, which is achieved (like bagels) by boiling pretzels in water before baking them. However, unlike bagels, you add baking soda to the water. That gives pretzels that–for lack of a better word–pretzely taste.
Beet Pretzel Twists with Pistachio Pesto | Stuffed with cheese and dunked in pesto, these twists are perfection! #pretzels
Whether or not you choose to stuff your pretzels with loads of cheese, you must–and this is an absolute must–make this pistachio pesto to dunk the pretzels in. We also mixed a generous amount of the pesto with the cheese stuffing. It was just the right thing to do.
Pistachio Pesto | A lovely twist on pesto via Club Narwhal #pesto
Can I just say how photogenic pistachios are? I was reminded of this when I was shooting the Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese and probably shot way too many frames when it came to this pesto. Just so lovely.
Pistachio Pesto | A lovely twist on pesto via Club Narwhal #pesto
And look how vibrant the whole mess looks after being whizzed through our Ninja. Yep, I could pretty much eat this whole bowl plain, though I settled for slathering a bunch of beet pretzels in pesto and devouring the lot of them for dinner.Don’t you love being a grown up? It means you can eat soft pretzels for dinner whenever you want to!

Pistachio Pesto | A lovely twist on pesto via Club Narwhal #pesto
Finally, I am beyond delighted to join forces with Hodgson Mill and some lovely blogger friends to give away this treasure trove of goodies! I can’t even imagine all the wonderful things that you will create with this haul. And yes, they’re even throwing in a Hodgson Mill apron and dough scraper. Total score.
Hodgson Mill Giveaway
If you haven’t entered a giveaway using Rafflecopter, it is quite easy. You can either log in with your Facebook account or click “Use Your Email.” You will then enter your name and email. You’ll also be able to create multiple entries by following some lovely bloggers on Facebook or Twitter (which I highly recommend doing since they all produce ace work that will make you drool like crazy).
Beet Pretzel Twists with Pistachio Pesto | Stuffed with cheese and dunked in pesto, these twists are perfection! #pretzels

BEET PRETZEL TWISTS STUFFED WITH CHEESE & PISTACHIO PESTO

Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup beet puree (we pierced 2 beets and microwaved them on the potato setting in a glass pan filled with an inch of water)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded mozarella
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup pistachio pesto (recipe below)
  • 1 pot of water
  • 2/3 cups baking soda
  • egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) and kosher salt
For the stuffed Beet Pretzels
 
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), combine the water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes so the yeast can get a little frothy. Stir in the beet puree, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Add the flour one cup at a time, mixing after each cup to incorporate. The dough should be quite sticky after 3 cups of flour. Add the last cup in 1/4 cup increments and begin to knead the dough (either with your hands or the dough hook of your stand mixer).
Knead the dough until it is smooth (or pulls away from the sides of the stand mixer bowl). Hand kneading will take 8-10 minutes, less with the stand mixer. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and put somewhere warm to rise. It should double in size in about an hour.
Then prepare the cheese stuffing by mixing the mozarella, ricotta, and pesto in a medium bowl. Set aside until you’re ready to roll out the pretzels.
When the dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two pans with parchment paper. Combine the water and baking soda in a large pot and bring to a boil. While you’re waiting, make the pretzel twists.
Divide risen dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out in approximately 20 x 4 inch rectangles. Spread a few tablespoons of the cheese mixture down the center. Pinch the long sides together to form a long cheese-stuffed rope.
To make the twists, check out the GIF above and then follow these instructions. Carefully bend the rope in half and twist, pinching the ends together. Fold the twist in half, twisting as you go. Tuck the bottom of the twist into the loop at the top so it is secure. Just A Taste also has a good photo tutorial to review if you need more help.
Boil pretzels for 30 seconds on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheets. Brush each pretzel with a little egg wash and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until golden grown, about 12 minutes. Let the twists cool on a rack for a few minutes before serving.
For the Pistachio Pesto
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Romana cheese blend
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix everything in a food processor or blender. Feel free to increase the ratios to suit your tastes.

Are you a bread addict? Check out my Bread Is Life Pinterest board for more carb-y treats!
P.S. Here are those Beet Bagels I mentioned in all their fuchsia glory.

Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese

Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese #bagels

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