Thursday, August 28, 2014

homemade soft pretzels that are gf and vegan {or not}

Last fall I discovered a new soft pretzel recipe from Tessa @ nineandsixteen. So, so good!  I made them to give as holiday gifts to some good friends and a new neighbor from Illinois to welcome them to the neighborhood last Christmas.
This past Easter, one of the preschool moms was making Easter pretzels for the class party. So, the day before the party (no pressure) I thought I would try to make them gluten free and dairy free so Reed could enjoy a soft pretzel, too.  Every gf soft pretzel recipe I found called for egg (as well as the frozen ones) which we can't do, so I dove right in determined to make these. I swear, this is why I had a sudden interest in cooking & baking years before he was born. I needed to have the experience and confidence behind me to dive in and make all these delicious foods safe for Reed to eat. I had recently found a new multi blend flour that was giving me great results on flavor and texture to wheat flour. The pkg says does not work with yeast breads, but I saw that while the dough was rising, so I just kept my fingers crossed that they would still turn out. They did, maybe not as much rising as a typical wheat pretzel, but good nonetheless. And I figured putting cinnamon & sugar would make almost anything taste yummy if need be.
But they have been so enjoyed that I make them every so often as a special treat. I posted pictures of them waiting as an after school snack on FB his first day of school and I had several requests for the recipe.

So, here is the recipe I used.

You can use this regular recipe if you don't have any dietary restrictions or if you want gluten free and/or vegan read on:
To make these gluten free, I switched out the flour to Authentic Foods multi-flour blend. If you have any experience baking gluten free, you know it's all about the combination and you can't substitute with just any flour. This is by far the best flour I have found to emulate wheat. I have tried many, many flour combinations and even started putting my own combinations together until I found this. I order it by the case online for goodness sakes! So, I can't speak to how these will turn out if you use another flour. You use 3/4 cup for every cup of wheat flour in a recipe.

Here's the adaptations I made from the original recipe:

Approx 3 1/3 cup Authentic Foods Multi-flour blend(if dough too wet, add a bit more flour, but not too much bc gf flours absorb a lot of moisture that result in dry baked goods)

1/2tsp. Xanthan gum for a little extra structure

I also used dairy (and soy free) earth balance margarine (this has a great buttery taste) for any butter in recipe and for topping.

When rolling the dough out to shape into twists, don't make too thin bc this isn't as stretchy as a regular wheat dough would be and they can break apart as you are twisting or dropping into boiling water. Sometimes I have to re-roll once or twice (before boiling) if that happens.
I have found these need to bake for closer to 12+ minutes. You want them deep golden brown, so just watch closely in your oven.
I think that's all I did differently and followed the original recipe as otherwise stated.

Some other topping ideas I do are garlic powder or sea salt & chopped rosemary. Yum!

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