Boy howdy, did these Paleo Soft Pretzels give me a run for my money. Some recipes are easily adaptable from their gluteny originals, some are not. These were the latter.
Nevertheless, I persisted. And behold: The Paleo Soft Pretzel.
As is usually the case: If you have questions about ingredient subs, the answer is I don’t know. (See recipe notes for one exception) I cannot know without testing the recipe with the ingredient you want to use, and the recipe that follows is the result of many hours in the kitchen and millions of dollars in ingredients.
I’m only exaggerating a little bit.
If eggs are the thing keeping you from making this recipe, the egg wash can be left off- the salt will stick to the pretzels without it.
Huge thanks to Back Porch Paleo for testing this recipe for me – twice!
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter, (melted and slightly cooled OR use avocado or olive oil for a dairy-free version)
- 162 grams (1 1/4 well whisked cups) Otto’s Naturals cassava flour
- 70 grams (3/4 cup) almond flour
- 32 grams (1/2 cup) WHOLE psyllium husk ((see note))
for boiling and baking:
- avocado or light olive oil (for the bowl and pan)
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk, (beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
- Pretzel salt or coarse sea salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve the honey in the warm water. Whisk in the yeast and salt. Set aside for about 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to bloom- it will become foamy and active.
- Whisk in the butter and then add the remaining ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens and becomes dough-like. It will still be sticky, but should come together like a dough.
- Lightly oil a medium bowl and transfer the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes to one hour in a warm, draft-free place. It should increase in volume by about half.
- When you are nearing the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 450ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Oil the parchment. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the water.
- Liberally flour a clean surface and turn out the dough onto it. Knead for several minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliable. Add more flour as necessary if the dough is too sticky. Divide the dough into 6 even sections. (see note)
- To shape the pretzels: Roll out each section into a rope of about 2 feet long and 1-inch thick. Make a U shape with the log. Cross the ends of the U about 2-3 inches from the bottom of the U, and then cross the ends again so you have a double twist. Bring the ends of the U down to the base of the U and press, using a little water if necessary to get them to stick. (See photos below)
- Using the largest slotted spatula you have, drop each pretzel into the boiling water, one at a time, for about 30 seconds. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. The pretzels will be delicate, so have the baking sheet very close to they don’t have to travel as far. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until dark brown. Allow to cool before eating.
- I prefer using whole psyllium husk because the pre-ground husk gives baked goods a strange color. If you only have ground, you can use it in the recipe, using the same amount by weight, or about 1/4 cup if measuring by volume.
- Large pretzels are the most like the kind you’d buy from a street cart, but they can be tough to work with, especially the transfer from boiling water to the baking sheet. If you’re worried about execution, you can make smaller pretzels. You should be able to get about 10 smaller pretzels out of the dough.
Thank you, Otto’s Cassava Flour, for sponsoring this post!
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