Friday, February 4, 2011

gluten free soft pretzels

I walked a fine line between these two recipes and came up with something nearly perfect. The texture is SPOT ON. The flavor needs a little work. I think the dough needs to proof another time, get more yeasty and less rice or corny. These were fantastic hot, eaten the in the German style, split open with butter. Some really strong grain mustard and a little honey also was delicious. They didn't keep super well the next day, but I threw the left overs in the toaster oven and enjoyed a harder, crunchier version. This gives me some very specific thoughts about bagels... yes, bagels.

Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp instant yeast
2 cups sweet rice flour
1 cup corn starch
1 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp xanthan gum (yes, this much)
a few tablespoons of oil for rolling out the dough
2/3 cup baking soda & 10 cups water for boiling the pretzels
kosher or sea salt for sprinkling on the pretzels

1. Combine the water and yeast, let proof. (10 minutes or so)
2. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Add the dry into the wet and mix.
5. Scrape the dough down and cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel. Allow to proof until it has doubled (maybe an hour or so, more if your kitchen is cool)
6. With well oiled hands, pull off balls of dough and shape them into sticks. (I tried for the traditional pretzel shape, but the dough is not resilient enough, so finger-thick sticks it is.)
7. Allow these sticks to proof, doubling in size - about 20-40 minutes.
8. Bring the 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda to a boil. (Preheat your oven to 500F)
9. One at a time, place the dough sticks into the boiling water.
10. Remove after 30 seconds - you will notice a color change (darker dough) and they will puff up a little)
11. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 500F for about 6-10 minutes - this really depends on how thick your dough is. You are going for brown with some golden brown on the edges. Blistering is a good sign. You can take them darker if you like.
12. Enjoy them warm!

Marvel at the crumb structure. Eat too many and lie on the couch rubbing your belly (optional).

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