Spelt Soft Pretzels
Nothing is quite as reminiscent of childhood (mine, anyway) as a warm, salty soft pretzel. Soft pretzels marked a time of newly acquired independence when I was finally released into the wilds of the local shopping mall to wander alone while my mother ran her errands. My circuit was simple: Sam Goody for a new CD, Claire’s for costume jewelry, Orange Julius for a drink and Sam’s for a soft pretzel — always ordered dripping with nacho cheese. (I’m pretty sure you had to be a mid-westerner for this one and definitely older than the Annie’s soft pretzel generation).
Now I’m a bit older and my tastes have changed and while I now find the nacho-cheese substance I used to crave cringeworthy, I still love a really good soft pretzel. Warm, soft on the inside and chewy on the outside. This combination is harder to come by than you might think and it’s rarely found at the baseball stadium, an amusement park or at the local swimming pool. The good news is though – they’re really not that hard to make! With a little patience and a good wire skimmer, you can have them at home any time you want!
For my soft pretzels, I use spelt flour. I’m sure all-purpose flour would work just as well. Spelt flour is wheat’s cousin, but a little more mild with a sweeter, nutty flavor. It does contain gluten, although its chemically different than the gluten found in wheat. Some research claims that it is more easily digested than wheat and may be tolerable to those with gluten sensitivities, although it should be avoided by those with Celiac’s disease. It produces a soft center and chewy exterior – exactly what you want in a soft pretzel. It also works really well for pizza dough. In addition to the spelt flour, I add in flaxseed meal for some additional nutritional benefit. One thing to note — every time I buy spelt flour, it has a different color and texture so my pretzels look a little different. I’ve finally settled on One Degree’s Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour as my spelt flour of choice.
This recipe will make about 6-8 soft pretzels depending on the size you’d like them. Frankly, I think that they are flavorful enough to eat on their own, but they’re also awesome with a vegan nacho cheese, tomato sauce or (of course) a dijon mustard.
Vegan Spelt Flour Soft Pretzels
For those days when you're craving comfort food, soft and chewy soft pretzels really hit the spot. These vegan soft pretzels use spelt flour and flaxseed to add a small nutritional boost to your snacking style.
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1 c. warm water (approx 100-110 degrees F)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 1/2 c. spelt flour
- 2 T. flaxseed meal
- 1 t. salt
- 2 T. baking soda (to boil the pretzels prior to baking)
- 6 c. water (to boil the pretzels prior to baking)
- Course salt for seasoning
- Step 1 In a small bowl, add the warm water, yeast and maple syrup. Leave aside for 5 minutes and allow the yeast to proof. It should start to bubble and a foam will appear on the water’s surface.
- Step 2 While the yeast is proofing, combine the flour, flaxseed meal and salt in a larger bowl.
- Step 3 When the yeast is proofed, add the olive oil and combine the wet and dry ingredients in the larger bowl.
- Step 4 Mix the dough with a wooden spoon until well combined and then knead until smooth.
- Step 5 Set the dough aside in a lightly oiled bowl and cover gently with a towel. Allow the dough to rise for approximately 30 minutes.
- Step 6 After the dough has risen, knead it 3-4 more times and roll it out into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 18 inches long. Cut it into equal parts — you should get about 8.
- Step 7 Prepare your alkaline bath by bringing your 6 cups of water and 2 T. of baking soda to a boil.
- Step 8 Roll each piece into a long 18-inch rope and then fold into a pretzel shape. Drop each pretzel into the alkaline bath for approx. 30 seconds and then place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with course salt.
- Step 9 Bake the pretzels at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them as they bake. Take them out when they’re golden brown.
What’s in my kitchen that made this recipe even easier?
This wire skimmer is made for deep frying, but it works just as well when you’re making soft pretzels and you need to retrieve them from their alkaline bath. I also love working with parchment paper. It keeps my baking sheets clean and the food from sticking as it’s baking.
Did you make this recipe? What did you think? Did you change anything?
Make sure to show us your stuff!! If you made these pretzels, snap a picture and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #herbivoreskitchen.