That’s right! For this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, I made gluten-free soft, warm pretzels. I saw the recipe on Flour Arrangements, a blog full of wonderful recipes posted by Sophie. I love her blog name: It just seems so appropriate for someone baking lots of gluten-free treats, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I probably have a dozen different gluten-free flours in my pantry. I’m always impressed by the big, beautiful photos on Sophie’s site. They always make my mouth water. And when I saw her post for these pretzels, I immediately thought of the buttery, gluten smell of the hot soft pretzels at the mall. You know the ones I’m talking about. I just had to give her recipe a try.
So how were they? Good. Really good. But perhaps not perfect because I think I erred a little bit. I tried my best to follow the recipe exactly, but did have to make a couple substitutions. I did use teff flour and almond meal as instructed for the high-protein flour. But, I had to substitute brown rice flour for the white rice flour. I didn’t realize I was out of white rice flour. (Actually, I think I quit buying it.)
Another problem I had, the recipe calls for 1-1/4 tsp of yeast. When I tried to proof it, nothing happened. So, I added another teaspoon of yeast to the mixture. That seemed to do the trick. Now for the big mistake: I put the dough into the warm oven to rise, but I didn’t cover the bowl. Oops! By the time I got the dough out, it hadn’t really risen much. And, the surface of the dough got a little dry and crusty in spots. But, I was determined to make it work. So, I got it out and worked with it a little and pressed on. I didn’t find the dough to be very sticky at all. Perhaps it got too dry in the oven. But, I actually found it to be fairly easy to roll it out and shape into pretzels.
The baking soda and water mixture was a lot more than I needed to brush on the pretzels. But, it is definitely necessary for the taste and texture of the crust of the pretzel. As the pretzels came out of the oven (Oh, what a wonderful smell!), I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled a mixture of coarse Kosher salt and coarse sea salt on them. The flavor is just what you would expect for the pretzels. The texture was good, too, however I would prefer a lighter, airier pretzel. I think the combination of letting the dough dry out in the oven and then kneading the dough probably deflated the necessary air pockets from the dough.
I was hoping to get a chance to make another batch of pretzels before posting this, but I ran out of time. I will definitely make these again! Even with the denser dough product, these were really good. The flavor was right-on and they were soft and tender. Even the next day, they still tasted good. My husband heated one up in the toaster oven two days later and said it was still good.
So for my next batch, I will use 2-1/4 tsp yeast and cover the dough before putting into the oven to rise. I would also say that for the baking soda solution, you can use 1/2 cup hot water with 1 tsp baking soda. That should be more than enough to brush onto the pretzels. And, my husband would say, “Don’t forget the mustard!” I prefer mine plain, with just a little salt.
My thanks to Sea at The Book of Yum for creating this fun and productive blog carnival. It’s great motivation to learn about some fellow gluten-free bloggers, and try some new gluten-free recipes. Thanks also to Thomas of The GFCF Experience for hosting the event this month. And, thanks to Sophie for sharing so many wonderful gluten-free recipes. I know I’m not the only one who appreciates your tasty recipes!