Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gluten Free Soft Pretzels and Pretzel Bites

These Gluten Free Soft Pretzels taste like the real thing. They are soft, salty, and slightly chewy. My favorite way to enjoy them is to dunk them in homemade cheese sauce.

My sister has been making these gluten free pretzels for awhile and they taste like real soft pretzels should taste. Ever since I've had my sister's gluten free pretzels, I've been wanting to try the recipe with a healthier gluten free flour blend. I was so happy with the final outcome - they taste just as good as my sister's; definitely As Good As Gluten.

Before I watched my sister effortlessly make these delicious gluten free pretzels, I was intimidated by the recipe. It looked like a recipe for disaster with proofing the yeast, proofing the dough, and preparing a soda bath. It may look like a lot, but I promise if I can do it you can too!

As a bonus, this recipe is versatile. I recently made this recipe three ways - as soft pretzels, as pretzel bites, and as pretzel buns. Here are the cute, popable pretzel bites. I'll share the pretzel buns tomorrow.

Gluten Free Soft Pretzels, Pretzel Bites, and Pretzel Buns
Adapted from Jules Shepard

·¾ cup brown rice flour
·¼ cup flaxseed meal
·⅓ cup plus 2 TBS potato starch
·1 tsp xanthan gum
·½ tsp salt
·1 package active dry yeast
·1 tsp granulated sugar
·⅓ cup warm water (110˚)
·1 TBS honey
·1 egg
·Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·⅔ cup baking soda
·1½ TBS melted butter
·Additional toppings of choice (i.e., coarse salt, cinnamon and sugar)

Preheat oven to 200˚. In a glass cup, mix warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand to proof for 5 minutes.

In a kitchen stand mixer bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients. Mix on low for one minute. Remove half of the ingredients to a separate bowl.

Add the yeast mixture, egg, and honey to the stand mixer. Beat on low speed for one minute, or until dry and wet ingredients are well-blended. Add the remaining dry ingredients and blend until well-mixed. If the dough is too dry, add an additional ½ to 1 tsp warm water.

Roll out dough into pretzels, pretzel bites, or form into buns. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Liberally brush the pretzels with EVOO. Heat a damp cloth in the microwave for 30 seconds. Cover the pretzels with the cloth and proof in the warm oven for 30 minutes.

15 minutes before the proofing is complete, prepare a soda bath by combining baking soda and 10 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir until soda is completely dissolved.

Remove proofed pretzels from the oven and preheat oven to 375˚. Once the soda bath is boiling, gently submerge the pretzels individually into the bath for 25 seconds, flipping over after about 15 seconds. Drain the pretzels and replace on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush the pretzels with melted butter and top with salt or other toppings. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.