I hear a lot of people say they’re intimidated to make authentic soft pretzels at home. For some, it’s the soda bath. For others, it’s forming the pretzels. Still others just aren’t that comfortable baking. To all of them, and to you, I say: go for it! A soda bath is just boiling water with baking soda in it. Even a misshapen pretzel tastes awesome! And, you’ll never get experienced in the kitchen unless you get in there and start!
These girls loved making gluten-free soft pretzels! It’s not so hard … really!
- 1 1/3 cup + 2 Tbs Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1 package rapid rise/bread machine yeast, gluten-free (Red Star®)
- 1 tsp. granulated cane sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water (110° F)
- 1 Tbs. honey or agave nectar
- 1 egg (or egg substitute like 1 Tbs. flaxseed meal steeped in 3 Tbs. warm water)
- oil for brushing on top of pretzels
- (2/3 cup baking soda for soda bath)
- butter or non-dairy alternative for brushing on top of pretzels (Earth Balance® Buttery Spread)
- coarse sea salt, sesame seeds, or other toppings of choice
In a small bowl, mix warm water, sugar and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the flour and salt set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and honey. Stir in the proofed yeast mixture, then add half the flour to this wet mixture bowl. Beat on low speed of an electric mixer for one minute, or until well-blended. Add in the remaining flour and blend until incorporated. If the dough is too dry, add an additional 1/2 to 1 teaspoon warm water and mix well. The dough should hold together well without being sticky.
Gently roll small fistfuls of dough to approximately 1/2 – 3/4 inch diameter thick logs (use Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour to dust the rolling surface, if necessary).
Take both ends of each log and twist into the middle.
Press together to form a pretzel shape. Gently dab water under each of the ends of the twist to help them stick together, or they may release during the boil.
Lay each pretzel onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour, then liberally brush the pretzels with canola or olive oil. Cover with a damp cloth and proof for 30 minutes in a warm place like a warming drawer or an oven preheated to 200° F, then turned off.
Prepare a soda bath by adding 2/3 cup baking soda to 10 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir until the soda is completely dissolved.
Preheat the oven to 375° (static) or 350° (convection).
Once the soda bath has achieved a rolling boil, gently submerge pretzels individually into the bath for 25 seconds, flipping over after about 15 seconds.
Remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer, drain and replace the pretzels onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush the boiled pretzels with melted butter and top with coarse sea salt or other toppings. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Do not overbake.
Serve warm with your favorite mustard!
Yield: 5 – 6 pretzels.