February 16, 2014

Salted Soft Pretzels


i have in the past confessed to moments of sadness in this gluten-free life.

let's just be honest. those buttery, yeasted bread baskets. a sugar-coated bear claw. auntie anne's pretzels. sometimes it is really ok to just inhale real big and whisper "well, boo" to yourself.

good news for me is my husband and kids are also now 100% gluten-free as a health choice. i am no longer alone in my "no, thanks" to the bread basket.

good news for me and you is i've developed these crazy awesome soft pretzels. no more pity parties walking through the wafts of pretzel heaven by auntie anne's at the mall. i've got my own now, thank you.

chewy outside. soft and tender inside. salty goodness. 

maybe next i'll be rolling them in cinnamon-sugar or loading them with raisins.


Salted Soft Pretzels

1      package active dry yeast
1      cup warm water (105° to 115°)
1      tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided
420  grams (about 3 cups) kumquat's all-purpose gluten-free flour, divided
1      teaspoon salt
1      teaspoon xanthan gum
4      tablespoons butter, softened
4      cups water
2      tablespoons baking soda
Cooking spray
Coarse salt

Combine yeast, water, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, xanthan gum, and butter in a large mixing bowl. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yeast mixture and stir until well combined. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and mix to combine.

Pour out on a surface and knead a few times to make a smooth dough. Place dough in a well-greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts for 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475°. Divide dough into 5 or 6 pieces. Knead pieces in your hands until nicely smooth. Roll each piece into a 16-18-inch length and form into a pretzel shape.

In a non-aluminum pot, bring water to a boil with baking soda. Add pretzels, two at a time, and boil 1 minute. Shake off excess water. Place pretzels on a baking sheet coated generously with cooking spray. Spray pretzels with cooking spray and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 475° for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 5-6 pretzels.

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