I have been wanting to create a recipe for gluten free soft pretzels for some time, now, but I had read that some had trouble with coarse Kosher salt melting. Not wanting to take the chance, I waited until I found some pretzel salt online. I think it makes a big difference in taste and appearance, as pretzel salt is very white, almost powdery. After finding that even professional bakers have trouble making the perfect pretzel, brown and shiny, I discovered what works the best to achieve this. I must have done a good job, as my gluten-eating husband stated that my gluten free soft pretzels taste identical to the real thing. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Soft Pretzels
The perfect gluten free pretzels: brown, shiny and chewy!
To Make the Pretzels:
- In a large bowl, whisk together tapioca flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, salt, and Vitamin C; set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, add warm water, sugar, and yeast. Blend on low for a few seconds, just long enough to moisten the yeast. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes or longer and until foam develops on the top.
- Add egg and brown rice syrup; mix on medium-low speed to blend. Add flour mixture all at once; mix on low speed to combine. Then increase to medium, and then high speed, just long enough to combine. If the dough is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of lukewarm water at a time until slightly sticky.
- Oil the bottom of a medium-size bowl. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to the oiled bowl. Oil the dough ball by rolling it around in the bowl and cover. Allow it to rise in a warm environment for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it doubles in size.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Oil the top of the parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium to large pot, bring water to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 420°F.
- Divide dough into 7 pieces*. One at a time, prior to rolling, knead a piece 12 - 14 times in your hands. On a lightly starch-dusted surface, roll the kneaded dough into an 18-inch long rope. Twist it into a pretzel shape by forming each rope into a U-shape. Then cross the ends about 3 inches from their top ends. Twist once and bring the 2 ends down to the bottom of the U-shape. Pinch slightly to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet and allow to rise 10 - 15 minutes.
- Add baking soda to boiling water; stir until it dissolves. Beginning with the first pretzel you made, using a slotted spatula, add it to the boiling water for about 40 seconds, submerging on and off often. Remove the pretzel, allowing excess water to drain. Transfer to a wire rack to drain thoroughly.
- While on the wire rack, baste the tops and sides of the pretzels with beaten egg (best done over a baking sheet or sink). Transfer the pretzels, using a spatula, to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet and pretzels from the oven. Baste all of them with more beaten egg (it will dry quickly - that's okay). Now, baste one again with egg and immediately sprinkle with pretzel salt, 3 - 4 grains per bite. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Place them back in the oven to continue baking another 3 - 8 minutes or until dark brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- For best results, serve your pretzels the same day you bake them. To store leftovers, leave them out at room temperature. Storing in a closed container causes salt to melt and makes them moist.
To Make Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:
- Add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and whisk thoroughly. Cook over medium heat until warm. Serve in a small bowl alongside warm pretzels.
*Once you roll your first rope, test it out to see if the ends actually stick to the pretzel. If not, prior to kneading each piece, make a well in the center and add a few drops of water in the center. Knead it in, and test again.
When doubling this recipe, there is no need to increase the water and baking soda bath ingredients.
Cinnamon Sugar Variation:
For cinnamon sugar pretzels, whisk together 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Substitute the pretzel salt with cinnamon sugar.
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