I’ve been on a bread kick lately and really discovering the joys of working with yeast. It’s something I always used to avoid, thinking creating gluten free bread products was too difficult or a hassle, but it turns out that I was wrong all along! From English muffins and proper pizza bases to Turkish bread, I’ve really surprised myself so many times this summer. Maybe decent gluten free bread isn’t such an unattainable dream after all. lol And this is my latest success: really soft and chewy gluten free pretzels! 🙂
What you’ll need:
1) A gluten free flour blend made specifically for bread i.e. strong flour. I use Freee Foods/Doves Farm, but feel free to substitute for whichever brand is available where you live.
2) A ‘Pan de Bono’ flour blend. This is basically a flour blend made specifically for these delicious little -> Colombian cheese bread rolls <-. I use one by the brand Ingredion and it worked so beautifully for pretzels.
*I get that it’s a pretty exotic ingredient so if you don’t have access to it where you live and can’t buy it online, you can also make your own from scratch. It’s basically a blend of cassava/tapioca starch, cornflour and pre-cooked cornmeal with a bit of added sugar and salt. I’ve never tried this myself, but many use a mixture of cassava/tapioca starch and cornflour (the type you use to thicken sauces) as a replacement. For this recipe this would translate as: 120g tapioca starch + 60g cornflour.
These made for a perfect snack while on day out at the beach. And by the way, how stunning is this hidden little beach we stumbled on?! The water was so clear and blue, can you believe this is in the UK! We were planning to spend the day in Barafundle Bay, but it being clogged with tourists forced us to drive a bit further… and I’m so glad that we did! If you’re ever around the area, it’s well worth venturing further down the coast as there is so much more to see. 😍
- 90g whole milk
- 90g water
- 1 +1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp dry active yeast (I used Allinson)
- 180g pandebono flour blend (I used Ingredion)
- 130g gluten free bread flour (I used Freee Foods)
- 1 + ½ tsp salt
- 30g / 1 heaped Tbsp butter (melted)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Water (1 medium pan of boiling water)
- 3 Tbsp baking soda / bicarbonate soda
- 1 beaten egg (to use as egg wash)
PREPARE THE YEAST:
- Mix the milk and water together in a bowl and heat up in the microwave in (10 seconds increments) until very warm. Dip your finger in to check the temperature. It should be warmer than lukewarm, but not boiling hot.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Then add the yeast, stir and let it sit in a warm place for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
PREPARE YOUR DOUGH:
- Add the salt and butter (melted in the microwave first).
- Then add the pandebono flour blend first and mix well with a spatula.
- Finally, slowly add the bread flour and switch to kneading it with your hands when it starts to form a dough ball. NOTE: the quantity of bread flour needed will vary depending on what brand/blend you choose to use so add it slowly until the texture looks about right i.e. it should be tacky to the touch / sticky but manageable with your hands. It shouldn’t feel dry at all. If you accidentally add too much flour and end up with a dry cracking dough, add more warm water 1 teaspoon at a time.
LET YOUR DOUGH RISE:
- Cover your bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and coat your dough ball in it as well.
- Then cover the bowl with cling film and let it rest in a warm spot for ideally 1 hour (at least 30 minutes). NOTE: I leave the bowl in a warm sunny spot on nice days, but when it’s cold, you can also turn the oven on to a very low heat and leave the bowl sitting near or on the opened door.
SHAPE YOUR PRETZELS:
- Divide your dough into 12 portions.
- Cover your hands with a bit of olive oil and gently knead a dough ball until smooth. Note: I recommend working on a sheet of baking paper to prevent sticking.
- Then with your two hands, roll into a long rope. Note: if there are any cracks, smooth them with your fingers and grease your hands with a bit more olive oil if necessary.
- Cross the two ends twice, creating a loop.
- Then fold it onto itself and gently press to secure the two loose ends.
- Repeat with the rest of dough balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
BOIL YOUR PRETZELS:
- Bring a medium pan of water to boil and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda into it.
- Then boil each pretzels for about 30 seconds (flipping over midway through), carefully dropping them in and lifting them out of the water with a slotted spoon.
- Place each boiled pretzel back on the baking tray.
BAKE YOUR PRETZELS:
- Pre-heat your oven to 230C (445F).
- Add a sprinkle of salt (ideally sea salt) on your boiled pretzels.
- Brush some beaten egg over them with a pastry brush or your fingers.
- At this point feel free to add any toppings you’d like such as sesame seeds. I opted for oregano and grated parmesan.
- Then bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.