Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vegan Soft Pretzels

better than the ballpark.
plus you can yell at the TV...
Make Your Own Soft Pretzels.
Where's the mustard??

Every spring, when the weather subtly shifts from just plain cold to cold with a *hint* of warmth, its like a switch is flipped. Suddenly, more than anything, I wish I were at Fenway. Sitting in the cheap seats, yelling at the umpires (or the Sox, if its an off night) with a beer in one hand, a scorecard in the other and a soft pretzel in my lap. When I can't get to the ballpark, I do the next best thing. Put the game on the TV, sit on the couch, yell at the screen more often than I'd care to admit, drink much cheaper beer and have a plate of homemade soft pretzels close by. These are those pretzels. Buttery soft, a little sweet, a little salty and perfect paired with yellow mustard.

Vegan Soft Pretzels Recipe:
(makes about 16 pretzels)
You will need:
 A stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
or quite a bit of elbow grease.
A large bowl for dough rising (you can also reuse the mixer bowl for this step)
Baking sheets
Pastry brush

Fully risen pretzel dough.

Part One:
3 1/2c all purpose flour
1 1/4c warm water
1Tbsp active dry yeast
1/3c + 1tsp organic sugar
1Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2tsp ground sea salt
extra olive oil for rising bowl
Part Two:
2c warm water
1/4c baking soda
1/4c melted vegan butter
Coarse sea salt for topping
Recipe notes:
There are two different ways to finish off the raw pretzels before baking. My preferred method is to do both the baking soda dip and brush with butter before sprinkling with salt. The baking soda dip will give them a nice golden brown hue and the butter will keep them extra soft.

You can also forgo the butter and just do the baking soda dip and sprinkle with salt.
This will give the pretzels a more "traditional" golden brown look
and a slightly harder exterior.

I wind up with 16 pretzels from this recipe almost without fail, 
but you can easily make the pretzels larger or smaller to your preference.

To make the dough by hand, without a stand mixer, first proof the yeast as instructed.
Once yeast is frothy add in all other ingredients,
Stir well with a wooden spoon until dough is roughly incorporated,
then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Knead dough for 10 to 15 minutes until smooth, elastic and well incorporated.
Dough should not stick to your hands or the work surface when finished.
Form into a rough ball and place in a well oiled bowl to rise.
Formed pretzels baking soda dipped and ready for butter and salt.

Part One:
Measure 1 1/4c warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Sprinkle in the yeast and 1tsp of the organic sugar and whisk to combine.
Allow yeast mixture to proof for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Once yeast mixture has proofed, add flour, remaining 1/3c of sugar, sea salt and
olive oil to the bowl.
Mix at low to medium low speed for approximately 8-10 minutes.
You may need to stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the dough off of the hook
or the sides of the bowl.
You want a smooth, elastic, well incorporated dough that pulls away easily from the bowl and does not stick to your hands.
If the dough seems too dry, add extra water a few drops at a time.
If too wet add a small pinch of flour at a time.
Once dough is mixed, roughly form it into a ball and
place in a large well oiled bowl.
The dough will roughly double in size, so be sure your bowl is large enough.
Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm dry place,
inside of an unheated oven with the light on works perfectly.
Allow to rise for 1 hour.

Ready for the oven.

Part Two:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease baking sheets or line with silpats.

Prepare baking soda dip by mixing 1/4c baking soda and 2c warm water in a medium bowl, stir to combine.
Melt 1/4c vegan butter in a microwave safe bowl.

Once risen, turn dough out onto a well floured surface and roughly form into a rectangle.
Use a dough scraper or a sharp knife to divide it into 16 equal sized pieces by first cutting the rectangle in half lengthwise, then making eight slices across the two pieces.

This will give you 16 small rectangular dough pieces.
Roll each piece into a long "snake" shape (about 12") and twist into pretzel forms.
Dip each formed pretzel into the baking soda mix, shake off the excess liquid and
place on prepared baking sheets.
You may need to give the baking soda mix a stir from time to time, as it can separate.

Once you have dipped all of the pretzels sprinkle each one with a generous
pinch of coarse salt
if using the vegan butter (recommended)
brush each pretzel with butter then top with the salt.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.



  1. Is there any way to make these without a stand mixer? I'd really love to try this, but I only have a hand mixer :(

    1. Yes! They can absolutely be made without a stand mixer, you just need a bit of elbow grease :) I just updated the recipe notes section with instructions on mixing the dough by hand. Good luck!

    2. Thank you!! I just love your recipes :)