Gluten Free Pretzel Rolls

Woohoo! Back in my wheat-eating days, I used to make pretzel rolls all the time.  I missed them so much that I decided to pop open the laptop and see if anyone has created a gluten free version. Low and behold, one of my favorite websites, glutenfreeonashoestring.com has done so.  The only thing I changed is that I added a teaspoon of celery seed since that is what gives pretzels that distinctive pretzel taste.  I devoured this whole batch in a week. Time to make more!

  • 3 1/4 cups (455g) all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more by the tablespoon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • Scant 1/2 cup (43g) cultured buttermilk blend powder (I use Saco brand)
  • 3 teaspoons instant (breadmaker or rapid-rise) yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites (60 g), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water (about 95 degrees)
  • Baking soda bath for boiling (6 cups water + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon salt)
  • Cornstarch wash (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/2 cup water mixed into a slurry) (optional – helps rolls to crisp)
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

Place the flour, xanthan gum, buttermilk powder, yeast, celery seed, cream of tartar, baking soda and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk to combine well with a handheld whisk. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine well. Add the cider vinegar, butter and egg whites, and mix to combine well. With the mixer on low speed, add the water in a slow but steady stream. Once you have added all the water, turn the mixer up to high and let it work for about 3 minutes. The dough will be wet. With the mixer on low speed, add more flour by the tablespoon, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl in spots. It should still be relatively wet, but not so wet that parts of it don’t hold together.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Dust the top with flour, and divide into 6 to 8 portions, depending upon how large you’d like the rolls to be. Dust each of the portions of dough lightly with flour so you can handle them. Form each into a ball, and then press the ball down gently into a disk (see photo). Place a couple inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free environment and allow to rise until just about doubled in volume (around 40 minutes).

While the dough is nearing the end of its rise, preheat your oven to 375°F and place the baking soda bath in a large heavy-bottom pot on the stovetop to boil over high heat. Once the dough is done rising, place the rolls a few at a time into the boiling baking soda bath for less than a minute per side. Remove the rolls with a strainer and return them to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the rolls with the cornstarch wash and score 3 to 4 parallel lines with a sharp knife in the top of each roll (for puffier rolls, slice more shallow; for chewier rolls, slice deeper). Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste. Place the rolls in the center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan before serving.

Freeze leftover rolls and defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

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