I think it’s safe to say that you are completely set up for success this Easter for a fun, creative, allergen-friendly holiday. From pretzels in the shape of bunnies, almonds that want to be baby chicks, super cute cupcakes, and even toast to take over the egg-dying tradition, you have so many choices to choose from when it comes to your style for celebrating. So let’s send you off with a big BANG and do it right with gluten free soft pretzels (gum free) AND in the shape of bunnies. I know, it just doesn’t get any better than this now does it?
Gluten free (and vegan) soft pretzels were actually a reader request. I had received an email from a dear woman, Laura, who challenged me (ooooohhhh, you know I love me a good challenge!) to create a tasty soft pretzel that is without gluten and eggs. I thought how fun it would be to have them ready for all of you before Easter so I could replicate this bunny twist technique I found online. Just too cute to not slather each ear with a dab of whole grain mustard…
So let’s chat a little about these ingredients, shall we? I am really falling in love with pysllium husk powder for its beautiful, stretchy quality that tends to mimic the role of xanthan gum. This is especially great news if you have a bad reaction to xanthan (you can read more about my thoughts on the gum here). I find that a good tablespoon + 3 tablespoons of warm water (as if using an egg replacer) does the trick typically in replacing a gum. Even my gluten free vegan bread recipe and pita bread recipe are xanthan gum-free, thanks to pysllium husk powder.
Don’t be shy when you see the multiple steps for these soft pretzels, either. This recipe was actually very easy to make! You are just creating a nice dough, forming the shape you want, boiling it, and baking it. That’s it. Easy, right? I can’t hear you… Right? Right. Good. And no, you cannot skip over the boiling part. You see that beautiful brown crust? That is because the pretzels were boiled with baking soda and maple syrup first before they were baked. That is important! It’s what gets such a great hue, so no skipping, ya heard? I’m talking to you in the back.
- 1 c. warm water
- 2¼ tsp. dry active yeast
- ½ tsp. coconut sugar (or use granulated sugar)
- 1 Tbsp. pysllium husk powder + 3 Tbsp. warm water, sit for 1 minute to thicken
- 3¼ c. Cara's All-Purpose flour blend
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 6-8 c. water
- ¼ c. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- olive oil
- coarse salt
- Allow the yeast and sugar to froth in the warm water for 10 minutes.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until well-combined. Take out about 1 c. of the flour and keep nearby in a measuring cup nearby. Add the yeast mix, oil, maple syrup, and thickened psyllium into the bowl with flour and stir until dough becomes scrappy. Start adding the other half of the flour, ¼ c. at a time until mixed in and a dough starts to form. Start kneading the dough with your hands for a couple of minutes in the bowl at this time to get it smooth. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
- Divide the dough into six, even and smooth balls.
- Roll each ball out with your hands on a lined flat surface until you have a long 14" snake-like dough piece. For the bunny shape, cut off 2" of the dough and set aside. For regular soft pretzel shapes, keep at 14". Follow the tutorials in the post for how to shape your pretzels. For the bunny, take the remainder 2" piece, roll it up and fill in the gap for the tail.
- Place on a baking sheet, cover and allow to gently rise for 30 minutes in a non-drafty spot in your kitchen.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring your water to a boil in a large pot. Add the baking soda (slowly, it will start to cause your water to rise) and maple syrup.
- Gently place each pretzel in one-by-one with the guidance of a large spatula that will guide each one into the water. Allow to boil for 1 minute on each side, very gently turning over on the other side. Be careful, if done too quickly your pretzels can fall apart.
- Place on a baking sheet (with your spatula), lightly coating the tops with olive oil and sprinkling with coarse sea salt immediately. Repeat for each one.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, turning the baking sheet around after the half-way point of cooking. Bake until a beautiful brown exterior forms. Allow to cool fully on the baking sheet before enjoying.
The exterior has a hard, crunchy, salty bite but once you sink your teeth into the middle you’ll find a soft, doughy inside. The kitchen gods have smiled upon me and are awaiting to smile upon you once you make these. You will not be disappointed!
I hope these do you justice, Laura, and to the rest of you who make these.
Need help with gluten free flour substitutions? Read this post to give you a good idea on how to approach the subject. If you cannot use any of the ingredients used in my all-purpose mix feel free to sub out what you want, even a store-bought mix you prefer. Just know that I cannot guarantee the same results when you do. It’s the fun with gluten free vegan baking; you never know what you’ll get, hooray!
Now if you excuse me, I have five more pretzels to eat. Okay, alright, four and a half…