So, here’s the deal. I miss soft pretzels. On some days I would do just about anything for some fresh Auntie Anne’s goodness. I’d say it borders on the realm of desperation.
Having said that, I set out to make my own, gluten free pretzel creations. For those of you new to the gluten free lifestyle, it can be difficult – for me impossible – to roll out dough that’s made with gluten free flour (think Stromboli’s, pretzels, etc). Because of this, I went with pretzel balls. To me shape wasn’t an issue. I wanted the smell and the taste. To cut down on unhealthy factors, i did not coat with melted butter and I did not add additional salt, but those are viable options if anyone is interested.
Here we go.
- 2.5 cups warm water (aim for 105 degrees)
- 4 TB light brown sugar
- 1 pkg (2.25 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1 stick melted unsalted butter (or 1/2 a stick and 1/4 cup applesauce)
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 4.5 cups gluten free flour (I mix white rice flour with Pamela’s all purpose gluten free flour)
- 2 TB honey
- Greased bowl (use canola oil)
- 12 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 TB milk
- Combine water, brown sugar, yeast and butter. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the salt, flour and honey, knead with a mixer’s dough hook or your hands until it’s smooth. If consistency is an issue, add more water or flour.
- Form a ball with the dough and place it in the greased bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to allow the dough to rise. It should double in size. Hint: heat the oven to 200 degrees. Turn it off and place the dish inside. Gluten free doughs take longer to rise, mine took about 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven after the dough has risen: 425 degrees.
- Pull pieces of the dough apart to form balls, and flatten them slightly with your hands.
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the baking soda SLOWLY: it will fizz. I had a mess with round one.
- Once the water is boiling, drop in your pretzel balls, allowing them to simmer for 30 seconds, pushing down to make sure they’re completely immersed, I did about 5 at a time.
- Pull each pretzel out of the water with a flat spoon and drop onto a greased baking sheet. They can be close together since they will not rise after this point.
- Combine your egg and milk to make an egg-wash and coat each pretzel.
- Bake for 18 minutes.
- ENJOY HOT.
A few notes: this was my first attempt. We had company and they were impressed, not knowing they were gluten free. Were they Auntie Anne’s quality? No. But, would I recommend them as an acceptable substitute? Yes!