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Monday, 23 May 2016

Easy & Delicious Homemade Soft GF Pretzels!

Several experiments later and we have a winner!   These delicious soft gluten free pretzels or pretzel sticks are delicious!  They're inhaled every time I whip up a batch by friends and family.  While traditionally, it's best to dip pretzels in a baking soda/water mixture, it's a difficulty in gluten-free cooking when dough is often far softer than traditional wheat-filled dough.  While it is possible to do something like freeze your piped out pretzels and then dip them, it's far easier to just brush the tops, as described below.  I'm always looking for the easiest route to get the best possible result!  These have been a hit!  The ones we brushed in butter and dipped in cinnamon sugar didn't even last long enough for pictures.  Enjoy!

Freshly baked GF soft pretzel sticks, a few brushed with melted butter. 

Easy & Delicious Homemade Soft Pretzels!
Makes ~60-70 thin pretzel rods, or 20-30 larger pretzels

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line ~3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the following dry ingredients in a mixer:  (It's important to mix dry ingredients first in GF cooking to avoid lumps.) 
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp quick-rise yeast
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Then add and let beat 4 minutes (make sure it's 4 minutes, so the yeast has time to activate):
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, softened

Place in a heavy-duty freezer ziploc bag.  Snip the end ~1/4-1/2" for thin pretzel rods or larger for fatter pretzel rods or pretzels (if you're up to piping them into pretzel shapes - my attempts tasted great but all looked a bit lopsided).

Pipe pretzels onto prepared parchment-lined pans.   Let rise in a warm location 20-30 minutes.

While pretzels are rising, mix together in a small bowl (this mixture will be brushed on top to give the pretzels that "pretzel flavor":
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar

Just before baking, brush tops of pretzels with the baking soda mixture.  Sprinkle as desired with coarse salt.

Bake at 425 F for 15-25 minutes.  Thinner pretzel rods can cook for as little as 15 minutes, but if you make thicker pretzels increase the cooking time.  Pretzels should be nicely browned.   Light brown = chewier pretzel;  Dark brown = crispier pretzel.

Remove pretzels from pan to a cooling rack.  If desired, immediately brush with melted butter.  You can sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar or another flavoring of your choice immediately after brushing them with butter.  They're great without butter, too!
Delicious soft pretzel sticks. Yum! 

* These are best on the day they're made.*  If you're making them to take somewhere else, transport in a paper bag so they retain their crispness or you'll end up with soggy pretzels.    You can freeze them and reheat in a toaster oven, if desired.


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