Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vegan Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

I wanted a light and healthy "grab and go" snack that was satisfying and something my kids would eat. Imagine my joy in making homemade pretzels that satisfied both the need for good food and convenience! These are a quick bread. Not something I normally do with my yeast raised breads. They have no added sugar or fat. A very basic recipe. It is possible to make pretzels from the 5 day bread dough (the nutritional values will change because that recipe has added fat and sugar etc.--and they won't be vegan). Made with the overnight started bread , they would still be vegan and have outstanding flavor. Today I just wanted to whip something up really fast and had not thought ahead on the dough.

Vegan Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

3 cups whole wheat bread flour

2 tsp active dry yeast (or one envelope)

1 tsp salt

2T cornmeal

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water ( may need more depending on how dry your storage is...I used 1 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup sprouted wheat berries (optional...but they look really cool and add some texture)

Put water in a 2 quart mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the water and allow to proof about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt and sprouted wheat (if you use it). Knead 3-5 minutes until a smooth dough is achieved. Allow dough to rest 5-10 minutes and then divide into 6 balls of dough...

I added 1/4 cup of sprouted wheat to the dough so there are a few stray wheat kernels there.

Take one of the balls of dough and separate it from it's friends. They are a bad influence on it anyway. Lightly coat your counter top with some of the cornmeal. This will help the dough not to stick, but also add a distinctive crunchy shell to the pretzels. It's a very nice touch. Though I personally really like the crunchy shell on M&M's...this will have to do.

Roll the dough out into a long snake. All those years of play dough as a kid will now be paying off!

To form pretzels:

First, play horse shoes...

Then think of breast cancer awareness...

Then get twisted...

Then flip the curls down...

Poke the dough strands down really hard to the bottom curve of the pretzel so it stays in place. I also stick my fingers in the twist and spread out the dough a bit so the spaces are bigger...

Repeat 6 times and place on a stoneware bar pan, lightly coated with cornmeal. Mist the tops of the pretzels with water. Allow pretzels to raise about 40-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Your pretzels should be really fluffy by now. Lightly mist with water again (or use an egg white spread on lightly with a pastry brush if you don't care if they are vegan or not).

I used some Kosher salt...a good fat pinch.

Sprinkle generously on pretzels. If you don't want salted pretzels try: cinnamon sugar, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, black pepper, herbs, all purpose seasoning (Italian is awesome!)...get the idea? Make them any flavor you want. If you eat all means, try some Parmesan or asiago.

Once puffy and salted up (which in my twisted world, I get puffy because I'm salted up...really I retain water like crazy!). Salt on pretzels doesn't make you puffy. I refuse to believe it. It just tastes too good!

Bake 20-25 minutes.
See the cracked pepper on this one? Awesome huh?

There you go. A whole grain snack. I'm not a vegan so I had them with some low fat cream cheese. It was amazing. Cheap, healthy, tasty, and fun. It's the perfect diversion. You really ought to try them.

Weight Watchers?...4 points a pretzel (1 point more for WW cream cheese).


Acthard said...

Thanks for the wonderful site.

Chef Tess said...

...and thank YOU for the wonderful comment.

Anonymous said...

This was great! Thank you for taking pictures and being detailed with your recipe :)

Anonymous said...

I am definitely trying these!! They look amazing!

paige said...

I am in college, I live in a house with 16 other college aged people, and I just made these pretzels... seriously the 45min it takes to let them rise is worth it. I pulled them out of the oven 20min ago- all of them are gone now. It was SUPER easy to make these, SUPER cheap AND I didn't even have to buy eggs. I made some cinnamon sugar ones, with some honey on it... oh it's good.

Chef Tess said...

Paige I love your comment! Thank you!

Ashlie said...

Thank you Chef Tess for this recipe!I use my own variation quite often. Even linked this to my blog!