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
1 1/2 cups GF bread flour
2 cups GF AP flour (more as needed)
2-3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs butter
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
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tbs sugar
Large stock pot 1/2-3/4 full
Kosher or pretzel salt
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!
Grand Prize in the
Gluten Free Challenge 2017