Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

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About: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to my classroom (when appropriate) where I teach 6-12th grade English & Social Studies (...

When I saw this challenge I immediately asked a GF friend of mine what food they missed/is hard to get. She gave me a couple ideas and then later on I mentioned pretzels and she said it had been years since she'd had a good soft pretzels. So I set out to convert my soft pretzel recipe into a gluten free soft pretzel recipe. My husband was the taste tester and he thought they were great. The combination of gluten free AP and bread flours gives a more natural chewy soft pretzel taste and feel that isn't too dense or boring.

Step 1: BoM

Dough

1 1/2 cups GF bread flour

2 cups GF AP flour (more as needed)

2-3 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs butter

1 egg

2 tsp yeast

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/4-1 1/2 cup warm water

Water bath

1/4 cup baking soda

2 tbs sugar

Large stock pot 1/2-3/4 full

Topping -optional

Kosher or pretzel salt

Butter

Step 2: Mix

Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, yeast last, and mix well. I initially attempted to use my hand mixer, because that's really all I have, but quickly realized there was no reason I couldn't put the dough into my bread machine and mix/knead it there. So after I cleaned the beaters off, I transferred everything to the bread machine and set it on pizza dough.

Step 3: Knead

I also let the bread machine knead the dough for me. I left it in the machine for about 10-12 minutes total, really as soon as a nice looking smooth ball appeared. After removal I ended up adding a little more GF AP flour and kneading the dough for a few minutes.

Step 4: Rise

Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover. Move to a warm area so the dough can do dough things and rise. Let rise 60-90 minutes.

Had I originally put all of the ingredients into my bread machine, the resulting dough would have been much nicer looking. The second photo is 90 minutes later, the dough did rise, but it's not as obvious as it would be had the dough been shaped a little nicer.

Step 5: Shape

Remove the risen dough from its bowl and turn out on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into equal size pieces and roll out. I decided not to make the traditional pretzel shape and went with pretzel sticks.

Place your shaped dough onto a cookie sheet with oiled parchment or tin foil. If using parchment paper, you still want to use oil to make your pretzels easier to remove.

Step 6: Water Bath

Preheat oven to 450.

Fill stock pot about half full with water and bring to a boil. Add baking soda and sugar, wait for the foaming to stop. Drop pretzels into the water bath one at a time, the pretzels will sink and float back to the top of the water. Remove within 30 or so seconds of floating to the top and replace on baking tray.

Picture 3 is of the pretzels after coming out of the water bath.

Step 7: Bake

At this point, before the pretzels go into the oven, you could do an egg wash (beat 1 egg with 1/8 cup of water, brush on pretzels) to get that shiny, glazed look. but it isn't necessary.

Bake at 450 for 10-14 minutes. If your pretzels are spread out over a couple of trays, try to place the trays side-by-side in the middle of the oven and not on separate racks, not doing so can cause baking and browning issues.

Step 8: Eat

Remove from oven and immediately brush with warm butter or enjoy with your favorite mustards!

Gluten Free Challenge 2017

Grand Prize in the
Gluten Free Challenge 2017

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    18 Discussions

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    Fleder

    1 year ago

    I am sorry to disappoint you, but those are not pretzels. The term comes from their shape not the dough.

    3 replies
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    Not_TashaFleder

    Reply 1 year ago

    When I make them again tomorrow I'll be sure to make them pretzel shaped and take new pictures.

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    FlederNot_Tasha

    Reply 1 year ago

    Here is a pretty good information video on that and every other topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSAqTdc-Y2g

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    PSURIDGE

    1 year ago

    have been so missing my soft pretzels. Do you think they could be frozen after boiling and baked later? Thank you for your time.

    To Fleder, pretzel refers to both the shape and the dough.

    1 reply
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    Not_TashaPSURIDGE

    Reply 1 year ago

    I would probably freeze them before boiling and then let thaw and rise and boil/bake, but I haven't tried it. I can investigate :)

    Thanks!

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    larry03052

    1 year ago

    Judging from the pictures, I think you may have missed a critical step in your recipe: boiling the dough in a solution of baking soda before baking. This is critical for two reasons, first it conditions the dough to hold onto the salt better, and second it makes the dough turn that nice dark golden brown we expect pretzels to be. Check out

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe-1948242

    2 replies
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    Not_Tashalarry03052

    Reply 1 year ago

    The water bath is step 6, baking step 7. I'm not sure what you think is missing.

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    larry03052Not_Tasha

    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh, so it is. Moral: don't give advice at 2:30 in the morning... =)

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    iceng

    1 year ago

    One of my grand daughters has celiac disease, we watch her several days in summer vacation. Always on the lookout for snacks to go with fresh fruit.

    Voted for this.

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    lughnasaluna

    1 year ago

    these look great - have a family member who needs gluten free foods - so Ive been trying things out --these are next on my list - thx

    1 reply
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    rring883

    1 year ago

    These look great! I'm really looking forward to trying this recipe. Thanks for posting.

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    BrianK150

    1 year ago

    These look amazing. Can't wait to try them during the football season.

    1 reply