I am not really a pretzel person. I never think to buy them or go out of my way to procure them, but when they are in front of me...watch out. I will indulge in their salty goodness, pretty much tuning out anything that is happening around me. I haven't had a soft pretzel in many many years. The only place I see them is at the mall and who knows what goes into those things. So I am going to share with you a simple recipe for soft pretzels. It may seem like a big effort when reading through the directions, but it really took little more effort than making bread. Super easy. Now I just need to make some vegan nacho cheese, should be easy too, I am thinking some nutritional yeast will be involved.
Vegan Soft Pretzels
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 Tbs. vegan sugar, finely ground
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 4 1/2 c. flour plus more for dusting work surface
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil plus a bit extra for oiling dishes
- 2 Tbs. baking soda
- *Optional toppings: Sea Salt, Black pepper, seeds, vegan cheese, etc.
- In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 1/2 c. of hot water. Let rest for a few minutes.
- Add the salt, vegetable oil and the flour about 1/2 to 1 cup at a time. Mix together and when the ingredients start to come together toss out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding more flour or water if too sticky or dry.
- Once you are done kneading the dough form it into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a clean towel and let rise in a warm and dry place for about an hour until the ball has doubled in size.
- Punch down the down and separate into 8 or 16 equal parts (done by halving each part repeatedly--it isn't an exact science), depending on how big you want your pretzels.
- Take each blob of divided dough, one by one, and roll out into a "snake". Then form it into a pretzel shape (Make a U then bring in both ends and twist down) adhering the ends with a dot of water.
- Meanwhile, in a very large skillet or saucepan, bring 4 1/2 c. of water and 2 Tbs. baking soda to a boil.
- Add each pretzel, one by one, to the water and boil for 45 seconds before flipping over (a spatula works well here) and boiling for 30 more seconds.
- Place onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat until all pretzels have been boiled.
- Top with salt or sugar or vegan Parmesan---really whatever you like.
- Place the cookie sheets into an oven preheated to 425 F oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until they are golden. Enjoy!
Alternative: I haven't yet tried this, but I imagine you could easily make stuffed pretzel bites by dividing the dough and filling it with anything (vegan cheese, peanut butter, etc.) and wrapping the dough around it like a tiny bun, then boiling. Let me know if you try this and it works.