The ubiquitous “mall pretzel”, light and fluffy with a crisp crust is dipped into butter and liberally sprinkled with small chunks of coarse salt. For those with a dairy or gluten intolerance these gems were off limits but these Gluten Free Pretzel bites beautifully emulate those pretzels. There are a few tricks with these pretzels, firstly it is the amount of honey used to bloom the yeast. All of those little yeast particles love some sugar to feast on and honey provides more than enough for all that feasting and growing. The pretzel bites are endlessly adaptable and I made a cinnamon sugar batch as well as a basil variety which would be perfect for dipping into marinara sauce or a sprinkle of coarse salt for an adult palate.
Be sure to boil the pretzel bites in the boiling baking soda water to give the bites that quintessential crust so reminiscent of the soft mall or movie theatre variety.
Working with yeast can be a touch tricky and if your yeast does not bloom properly, then it has died; there are two possible reasons for the yeast’s demise, either the water was too cold or too hot. Be sure to keep the water at 100º which is warm to the touch but not overly so.
The Pretzel Bites
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp liquid honey
- 1 cup warm water (100º F – warm to the touch)
- 2 – 2 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- one tablespoon baking soda
- Optional: 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon sugar (a ratio of 1:1 cinnamon/sugar); or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried basil
- Dissolve the honey in ¼ cup of the warm water. Stir with a spoon as this amount of honey might be a touch stubborn. Sprinkle the yeast over top and allow to bloom fully for 10 minutes. It should be foamy and all the granules of yeast will have disappeared.
- Break up the yeast with a wooden spoon and add half the amount of flour as well as the sugar and salt. Slowly add the extra water as needed until all the flour is added and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Allow the dough to rise for 25 minutes, keep in mind that gluten free dough is closer to a batter than it is a dough.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Be sure to add one tablespoon of baking soda to the water and allow it to dissolve.
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Using two spoons drop the dough into the boiling water for 45 seconds. The pretzel bites will look like anemic matzoh balls but don’t fret.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until a golden brown. Brush with melted vegan margarine or olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt or cinnamon sugar.