Today is my big baking day and Tayla, my 11 year old daughter (she was the one recently diagnosed with being lactose intolerant) has been hounding me to make some larger pretzels she can take to school for lunch or recess. She has the small hard biscuit type for recess already. So I can eat them too I needed to make them gluten free so I could enjoy them too. After googling some tips and recipe ideas (as I knew its not straight forward like making just bread rolls) and working out that a soda bath is helped before cooking we have made this recipe. Sadly the spelt ones I cant have, I tried one and really shouldnt have but it just made me realise how much yummier breads with wheat and gluten is lol but reminds me how much pain it leaves me in too. But we have done these 2 ways anyway depending on your intolerances.
Here is Tayla and her wholemeal spelt flour pretzels
The reason for the soda bath it helps the browning process of the pretzel!
If your arent gluten/wheat intolerant then replacing the flour with spelt works awesome we mucked around making spelt ones and 2 batches of gluten free ones trying to find the right consistency lol. Atleast we get to freeze all the pretzels for school for the week! Ofcourse the spelt ones turned out nicer, rose better, easier to work with tasted nicer, so much nicer and not as dense. With the gluten free ones I found that the dough needed to be less sticky as we had one batch that wasnt holding for the bath so we rolled them into balls and bathed them that way. But the batch I made adding more flour was better to work with. You will see the difference in photos between spelt and gluten free. They were a little more trickier than what I thought but we got there in the end. Tayla still gave the gluten free pretzels a big thumbs up!
Tayla’s Spelt Soft Pretzels
1.5 cups of wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp rice bran syrup (you can ue maple syrup or raw sugar but I like to keep the sugar down)
1 Tbsp Rice malt syrup extra (not a typo)
2 tsp coconut oil, melted
3 tsp melted butter or dairy free spread if lactose free
6 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan forced. combine water, 1 tsp rice malt syrup and 2 tsp yeast and stir to combine, let stand for 5-7 minutes until it goes thick. In a bowl combine flour and salt. Pour the yeast into an electric mixer bowl and add half the flour, egg and the 1 tablespoon of the rice malt syrup. Mix on low speed til combined, add remaining flour and mix until forming a dough, if needed add a little flour to make it less sticky, as the batches we made some were perfect some we needed to add a little extra flour so it was less sticky. Turn out onto your bench lightly floured with gluten free flour and knead until smooth, just a minute it will take, roll into a log and make 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a log and fold round into a pretzel shape and place onto baking tray line with grease proof paper. Brush each pretzel with cocont oil, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your soda bath just before the rising has finished, in a large saucepan add water and bring to the boil, add baking soda and stir until all dissolved. Taking one pretzel at a time using a large plastic spoon with slits in it drop it in the water after 7 seconds flip it over for another 7 seconds carefully lift it out letting it drain a few seconds and place back onto your baking tray. Do this will all the pretzels. Brush melted dairy free spread (or butter) generously on each pretzel and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes, they will be nice and brown so dont panic and think they will burn this is what the soda bath does to help get them to colour.
edited to add this new recipe – looks a bit trickier but its really easy, works better than the above recipe as a gluten free mix.
Gluten Free Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
60 grams unsalted butter
30 grams ground flaxseed
30 grams ground chia seed
280 grams brown rice rice flour
115 grams buckwheat flour
115 grams millet flour
115 grams tapioca/arrowroot starch (or potato starch)
10 cups water 1 cup baking soda 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon rice malt syrup
Combine the warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn on the mixer, briefly, until they are combined. Leave the bowl in a warm place in the kitchen until the yeast has doubled in volume, about 10 to 15 minutes.
While the yeast is rising, melt the butter. When it is entirely melted and hot, pour it into a bowl with the flaxseed and chia seed. Whisk them all together, quickly, until the flaxseed and chia seed have combined with the butter. The mixture will look like wet, clumped sand.
Put the brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour and starch into a large bowl. Whisk them together until they are fully incorporated into one flour and aerated. Add this flour mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer, along with the flaxseed/chia seed mixture. Run the mixer on medium speed until the dough has formed and whirls around the paddle stiffly, about 5 minutes.
Grease a large bowl. Add the dough, which will be stiffer than typical gluten-free bread dough but still not quite as stiff as a typical gluten dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place in your kitchen until it has risen by at least half its volume, about 1 hour.
Take the risen dough out of the bowl. Divide it into balls of 85 grams (about 3 ounces) each. Dust the countertop with white rice flour. Roll each clump of dough into a tight ball, then roll it between your hands to make a thick cigar-shaped dough. Put that on the floured counter. Starting from the middle, slowly roll the dough back and forth, moving your hands gently toward the outside as you do. The dough should lengthen into a fairly even rope. Stop when it is about 16 inches long. Press along the length of the rope to make sure it is solid and not about to tear.
Pick up the rope of dough and form it into a large u, with the two ends at the top. Wind the two ends around each other, twice, then fold them onto the bottom of the rope. This should look like a pretzel. (This might take a few tries until this feels familiar.)
Put the completed pretzel dough onto a plate. Repeat until the plate is full. Put the full plate in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before you work with it again. Continue filling plates until you have rolled the entire dough into pretzels.
Combine the water and baking soda in a large saucepan, stirring them together as the water comes to a full boil. Reduce the water to a lower temperature until it keeps at a steady simmer.
Preheat the oven to 220°. Prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Take one plate of the pretzel doughs out of the freezer. One at a time, lower the pretzel dough into the baking soda water, on a slotted spoon or peltex, for about 30 seconds. This will give it the pretzel taste. Do not go longer than 1 minute or the dough will start to fall apart. Lift the dunked dough, still in its original shape, onto a waiting baking sheet. Continue until the baking sheet is full.
Whisk together the egg and rice malt syrup. Brush the egg-honey wash over each pretzel. Top with coarse sea salt. Continue until all the pretzels are washed. Bake until the pretzels are firm to the touch and a lovely dark brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, depending on your oven.
Remove the pretzels from the oven and cool them on a cooling rack.
Finish the remaining pretzels with the baking soda water and oven until you have baked them all.
2nd recipe adapted from www.glutenfreegirl.com