Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First on the First - Pretzels

I freely admit - I struggled this time.  Gluten-free pretzels are hard.  And I don't mean in a crunchy sort of way.  I tried a couple recipes for those wonderful soft pretzels.  Ick.  The major problem is that most gluten free doughs that I've worked with are more like batters.  I can pour my bread dough into the pans. I certainly can't knead it.  Let alone roll it into strips and wind it into pretzel shapes.

So after much tinkering around, I decided to ditch standard pretzels for krakelingen - Dutch sweet pretzel cookies.  My main source was this recipe from the Flourgirl.  I followed it pretty faithfully, replacing the flour with an equal amount of gluten free flour plus 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum.

And I cheated and used Geraldine.  Yes, kerchief and all.  (Remind me to take a picture of her soon with her little apron.  It's very cute, too.

I chilled the dough, as instructed.  Then found I had to let it warm up quite a bit before it was workable.  I did manage to roll it into "snakes" of dough.

I folded these into pretzel shapes, then dipped them into a small bowl of sugar.  Where they promptly fell apart and had to be sort of pushed back into shape on the baking pan.

Coming off the baking pan was no better.

I'd nearly given the whole thing up as a loss, but my smallest child was delighted with them.  She kept coming back to the plate and grabbing the broken pieces.  So maybe I'll try it again - doubling the amount of xanthan gum and possibly increaseing the ratio of starches to bulking flours in my flour blend.  (More tapioca/potato starch, less rice/millet flours)

It has also occurred to me that I might have some success going for a more traditional crunchy pretzel - if I pipe the dough into shape rather than trying to roll it.  I won't get the "twist" in the center, but I can get pretty close.

What do you think?

3 comments:

  1. I have zero experience with gluten-free baking but love your attempt (and if tastes good, that's what counts!) I've never made sweet pretzels - will have to try. BTW, love Geraldine's kerchief

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  2. We considered a gluten free version too but were too intimidated - huge props for your attempts!! And Geraldine is just such a beauty, I love it :)

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  3. I love that you overcame some of your challenges and figured out another route to go! The cookies sound fantastic and clearly, your daughter's love of them only confirms that ;) Great job!

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