soft pretzel bites

i always like to do a bread project for the New Year and this year i had a hankering for pretzels, but I didn’t have the energy to roll and shape pretzels. i had tried to make gluten free soft pretzels once before, but i found they mostly tasted of the baking soda. as it turns out, i had forgotten to add sugar  to my dough, but i also realized that white sugar might not cut it in terms of depth of flavor and balancing the salt and baking soda, so this time i used turbinado (raw sugar) and i was very pleased with the flavor of the finished pretzel bites. IMG_7111IMG_7112IMG_7113

there’s not much else to say about the process, which i’ll show in photos below, other than try to work clean and give yourself lots of room for the baking pans and the cooling rack. i did make one traditional pretzel just because i couldn’t resist…

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Soft Pretzels

Ingredients 

  • 315g (11 ounces / approximately 2 1/4 cups) Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown  or turbinado sugar
  • 7g (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast or 1 package active dry yeast
  • 29g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable or olive oil, for resting dough and the baking sheet
  • 9 cups water
  • 150g baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash before baking
  • Maldon sea salt or coarse pretzel for sprinkling on unbaked pretzels

Method 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and kosher salt. Set aside. Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to proof. Add the melted butter, the egg and the flour mixture and combine using the dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then coat it well with oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean towel and sit in a warm place for approximately 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 9 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 6-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a pretzel width rope. Cut each rope into 1 to 1.5 inch pretzel nugget or bite sizes.
  5. Gently place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, and let them cook for about 30 seconds (they will expand and rise to the top of the water). Remove them from the water using a large slotted spoon or spider. Place them on the prepared half sheet pans, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with the Maldon or pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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