Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegan Soft Pretzels

I like several of the Food Network people... if you're around often you will know right away that I may have a small crush on Bobby Flay. My other favorite Food Network man? Alton Brown! I love Good Eats because he breaks the science down and tells you why you do what you do. Plus his show is hilarious!

I dream to be on his show... even if I'm just a random hand that shoots in to pass him something, or the person in a chicken suit or dressed up as Alton's Aunt Mable. I'd do it. Just to be there. With Alton. Yes, I may have a small obsession with my Food Network men. But I think it's ok... because my husband knows :)

So Pretzels... when my carbohydrate addiction led me to the decision that I must make soft pretzels I headed to my good friend Google and Googled away. Who came up relatively first? My good buddy Alton Brown! Ah! My mind was made up because I know Alton won't let me down... he never does.

This recipe is Alton's... but then I had to veganize it... and then I accidentally forgot a couple ingredients. At first realization that my dough was missing some of Alton's ingredients, my reaction was, 'sh*t!!' Because the dough had already risen, the water was on, the oven was warming and I was rolling.

To make new dough wouldn't have taken long, but to rise? And I wanted pretzels NOW! (remember... addiction) (not that I take addiction of any sort lightly so please don't take offense :)) So I went ahead with my dough and the pretzels turned out fabulous!

I will have to Google Alton's thoughts on butter and oil in the batter and see what his method is. My guess is it just makes the dough lighter, more flaky? Well, mine was delish! Hey Alton, perhaps you could have me on your show! I could make my version and you could make yours... think about it. (Yes, I'm 97.3% positive Alton Brown reads my blog) :)

Yield: 8 pretzels
Adapted from Alton Brown's pretzel recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons if your yeast is in bulk, like me)
4 1/2 cups flour (unbleached)
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
Chunky sea salt

In a large bowl combine water, sugar, salt and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes until foamy.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time, gently stirring to combine in between each cup. (a.k.a. don't just toss all 4 1/2 cups in at once)

Using a dough hook (or your hands) knead the dough until combined then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough. About 3-5 minutes.

Note: on this particular instance I did not use my Kitchenaid, I just used my hands... something organic about getting back to basics.

Return your ball of dough to the bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Cover your bowl and place it in a warm area to rise. Dough should rise to about double it's size; about an hour.

When dough is done rising, bing water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot on the stove.

Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Get your dough out and divide it into 8 pieces.

With your first piece, roll it out into a 24 inch long rope making sure the thickness is even throughout the rope.

Holding ends, let dough rope fall into a 'U' shape, then twist, lay the twist down and press ends into the 'U'. Repeat with other dough balls.

Place dough pretzels in boiling water, cooking for 30 seconds then remove and place on baking sheet.

Sprinkle tops with chunky sea salt and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top.

Note: I did four pretzels at a time because that is what my pot of water and baking sheet would hold.

When done, remove from oven to cool.

Serve these little darlings warm with spicy brown mustard and a beer.

The pretzels have an amazing flavor and chewy texture. Fun for kids and adults of all ages and super easy to make. Store leftovers in a paper bag... if you put them in plastic the salt will 'sweat', disappear and leave you with a soggy topped pretzel.

You could easily freeze these by letting them cool completely, then put in freezer on a tray to freeze. Once completely frozen, put in freezer bags and return to freezer.


Active Dry Yeast


  1. Ooh..I'll have to try these--they look great. My son would enjoy making these with me. Thanks!

  2. Great job with these pretzels. You cooked them to perfection.

    You've always been one of my favorites but now that I know you like've gone over the top!

    Thanks for the support!

  3. Your pretzels look picture perfect! If they tasted half as good as they look, they must've been heaven. :)

  4. Just came back to tell you I tried your recipe and the family love your pretzels, thanks so much.

  5. Great job on twisting, I need that dip too!

  6. Epicurean Vegan... definitely perfect for kids! Noodle loved helping with these ;) Glad to see you!

    Lazaro... thank you so much! And ha ha! yes!! Fringe is fantastic love that you love it too :)

    Kelli... thank you! they were super good... I couldn't stay out of them!!

    Medifast... I'm so glad! Thank you for stopping by :)

    Jennifurla... thank you! and oh yes, the dip was really good with it :)

  7. philly is the soft pretzel capital of the world...and I have to say yours look pretty darn good! let me try 5 or 6 and I will tell you for sure!! And let me say this if Alton ever saw you, I would be willing to bet he would want more than a random hand showing up on his show!!! all this and you like Fringe...the perfect woman!

  8. Alton Brown rocks! That man knows what he's doing :P I don't blame you for turning to him for a great pretzel!

  9. Chef Dennis... ha ha!! You're too kind! Thank you :) Send that on to Alton and if I get on I'll give you a shout out :) And oh! Are you a Fringe lover too? We'll have to have a Fringe watching/skype party with you, me and Lazaro! Love it!

    Rick... thank you! So glad you came by and like it :)

    Amber... yes! yes he does... Love his show. It's so... scientific! :)

  10. You're amazing- you managed to take a yeast-based recipe and veganize it and I can't even master a regular yeast-based recipe. Alas, one day :)

  11. Azmina... oh, thank you! so much! you're so sweet... you can do it! :) And yes, they were super duper delicious!

  12. Spoon and Chopsticks... so good with beer! I had to do it because it would be just wrong not to :)

  13. Made these last night and they came out perfect and were a huge hit! Thank you!

  14. Hi Corycaroline... I am so glad you made them and loved them! I love hearing feedback :) Hope to hear from you soon!

  15. These were delicious!! Yum yum yum, I love tasty vegan food!

  16. I am so glad you like them! Thank you :) They're definitely addicting!

  17. I love how brown yours got! When I baked my they 'tanned' but never fully browned. Thanks for this recipe!

  18. I just made these and they turned out amazing! Thank you for a fairly simple, delicious vegan pretzel recipe! I shared them with the kids I babysit who are picky eaters and they ate them so fast I couldn't believe it. I look forward to making them again :)

    1. So glad they turned out for you!

  19. I just made the pretzels and they turned out great. I always wanted to make them but always was unsure about how to. This recipe really worked and I liked the photos and tips!!! Well done!

  20. Thank you! I am so glad you enjoy them :) thank you for the comment too!

  21. Everyone keep up the good work... And the comments! I am really glad you are all getting so much enjoyment out of these recipes. It warms my heart! I will be back! :)

  22. :(

    I made these tonight; followed the recipe exact, with the exception of whole wheat flour, and I rolled them in to balls.

    My variation just tastes like dough balls :(

    1. hmm... whole wheat flour would change the consistency a bit. If you want to use it, I always suggest half whole wheat half white unbleached. it cuts the 'toughness' of the whole wheat :)

  23. just made these and they were awesome! Super easy too. I added a tiny bit of malt powder to mine and they still worked

  24. Dakota, fantastic! I love these so much! In fact, I have incorporated them in to my 'kids cooking' camp... the kiddos love it! Great job on yours :)



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