September 5, 2009

Soft Pretzels (B&P22)

Baking & Pastry Project #22 - Soft Pretzels

Holiday weekends are made for savoring. Long sunny days, bbq grills, just picked vegetables, and just a touch of home improvement. Perfect.

These pretzels turned out to be an exceptionally wonderful treat. I served them with a dark mustard, salami and a cold Bard's Tale beer. Fabulous.

Yield: 6 pretzels
Protein Content:
Original Version: 40.43 g
GF Version: 40.20 g


50 g brown rice flour (4.5 g)
40 g sweet rice flour (2.4 g)
40 g arrowroot starch (.12 g)
60 g sorghum flour (7.2 g)
115 g white bean flour (24.725 g)
6 g chia seed meal (1.26 g)
4 g agar agar powder
25 g instant dry yeast
6 g sea salt
270 ml water
16 g butter, soft & cubed
7 g sorghum malt syrup
35 ml agave syrup

Lye Solution

960 ml Water (105 degrees F/41 degrees C)
35 g Sodium Hydroxide Pellets
Coarse Salt, as needed

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir together. In a medium bowl, pour in the water, butter, malt and agave syrup, then blend. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together. Dough should be slightly firm yet still sticky.

2. On a sheet of parchment paper sprinkled with sweet rice flour, divide the dough into 6 pieces of equal size. Beginning with the first piece, work the dough in the sweet rice flour by pressing down and folding over the dough until it has a silky texture. Then roll out the dough into a long tube 12 in/30 cm, it should be tapered at the ends yet still fat in the middle. Cross the ends over each other then twist over once again. Then slide a slotted spatula under the cross ends and flip the twist upside down, so that the ends are now over the middle of the tube. Transfer the pretzel to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with sweet rice flour. Finish shaping the pretzels in the order in which they were divided. Set the pretzels in a warm location and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Prepare the lye solution in a bowl, one that is deep with tall sides. Slide the slotted spatula under the pretzel and then dip the pretzel into the lye solution, while keeping the pretzel on the spatula. Hold it over the bowl for a little bit and allow the excess solutions to drip off. Place the pretzel back on the parchment and allow it to drain. Sprinkle the pretzel top with coarse salt. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels.

4. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F/246 degrees C. Place the pretzels in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the pretzels to cool before removing from the parchment paper. You will need to gently ease the paper away from the pretzel as the lye solution will cause them to stick to the paper.


VeggieGirl said...

Ahhh, soft pretzels - nostalgia alert! :)

trishtator said...

These look delicious. I'm so impressed that you were able to shape pretzels. Wow!

Mindy said...

Just curious: What is the purpose of the lye solution?

Before I became GF I used to bake pretzels with either a butter or egg wash and then sprinkle with salt.

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Mindy - The lye solution gives the pretzels their characteristic dark color, shine, and slightly tangy flavor. Baking the pretzels converts the sodium hydroxide is transformed into inert salts. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection before working with the lye solution. (Baking & Pastry, (C) 2004, pg. 233)

I have made pretzels before and used and egg wash. That method making a very enjoyable pretzel, but it lacks that tangy flavor the lye give them.

I hope this helps.


Anonymous said...

I wondered about the lye as well. Thanks for the information. Where did you source the sorghum malt syrup?
Want to try these out once I get back from BlogHerFood, I love soft pretzels.

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Jean - The sorghum malt syrup is made by Briess and is gluten free. You can purchase it from Midwest Homebrewing Supplies. They have an online store you can find at:


Tina said...

This looks so delicious! :)
You don't by any chance know a good place to find instant dry yeast, do you?
I've been looking around online for these so I can make Soft Pretzels also. :)

Really like your blog


betty_betty said...

This looks so delicious! :)
All the ingredients in it look great-- and good idea to make this with chia seed meal!
You don't by any chance know a good place to find this type of meal , do you?
I've been looking around online for these so I can make Soft Pretzels also. :)

Really like your blog