You know, I know, we JUST had a pretzel themed recipe up in here. BUT those were store bought crunchy pretzels – these are soft baked HOMEMADE pretzels…oh and they’re vegan, whole wheat and DON’T taste like tough cardboard. Yep, I checked.
I called my mom while kneading these (read: I don’t have a stand mixer, hand kneading takes time and requires distraction). She’s excited for our move, obviously. My mom was walking the dogs when I called – usually they just let them be free range in the backyard (read: their backyard is roughly 100 acres), but there were farmers working (read: it’s getting close to fall so they’re spreading manure, super glamorous, I know) so my mom didn’t want the pups running off and coming back with racing stripes (read: a streak of manure down their white fur due to rolling in said manure). Anyways, she was taking the dogs out for their constitutional.
We talked about how our moving plans were going (which is happening in less than 1 month!!). Here are the updates:
We signed a lease on an adorable 2 bedroom home close to downtown. The kitchen leaves a few things to be desired…like a dishwasher…we’ll see how this goes. But overall, its cozy, bright and the location is great.
Our moving truck is booked and we are shipping Jesse’s car. So he’ll drive the moving truck and I’ll drive my car – we have walkie-talkies for this tandem cross country trek.
We’re starting to clean up our current condo, get things staged for moving and ready to show the place to potential tenants. We decided we wanted to sell our couch, so we listed it on craigslist thinking it would take a few weeks to sell – WRONG…someone came and bought it that very afternoon…so we currently have no couch.
I cannot wait to spend fall in New England – basically the fall capitol of the world. Get ready for all fall themed things. I hope you like maple syrup, pumpkin and apples. Just sayin’.
Back to my call with my mom – I mentioned I was making homemade pretzels and she asked what was going to be special about them. It got me thinking – does there need to be something special? Some extra pizazz? I rolled off some dipping ideas – vegan beer cheese (recipe is on its way!), cinnamon sugar, a sweet glaze like caramel or maple (definitely coming your way once we’re in the land of maple syrup). But when they popped out of the oven, all I wanted was a fresh, warm pretzel covered in sea salt and dipped in dijon. Sometimes simple is best, right?
oh and Jesse requested a few cinnamon sugar.
Homemade Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels
1 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
3/4 cup warm water, 1/4 to proof yeast, 1/2 for dough
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
course sea salt, cinnamon sugar & coconut oil, for toppings
Baking Soda Bath
6 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Proof the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and maple syrup. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let proof until foamy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, salt, oil and remaining 1/2 cup water. Add in yeast mixture. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook and run on medium-low for 5 minutes. If you’re like me and short on counter place, hand mix the dough and then knead for 10 minutes. Shape into smooth ball. Brush a smaller bowl with oil olive, place dough in, cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled. If your house is cold, turn your oven on the 250° and place the bowl next to it or clean up the kitchen, run a load of dishes and place the bowl next to the warm dishwasher.
Preheat oven to 450° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment.
Bring the 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to a boil to create your baking soda bath.
Prepare the counter with a little oil. I like to put down a silicone baking mat and put a small dollop of oil on that, so that your counter stays clean. Remove dough from bowl and punch down a few times. Divide into 4-6 hunks, depending on how big you’d like your pretzels to be. Roll out each hunk into a long rope, roughly 18-20 inches long. Make a U shape, twist, and bring your ends down to the bottom of the U to make that lovely traditional pretzel shape.
One at a time, gently place the pretzels in boiling baking soda bath. Let sit in boiling water for 30 seconds, then use a wooden slatted spoon to remove and place on parchment lined baking sheet. If you want to add salt as a topping, sprinkle with salt immediately while they’re wet. Repeat until all pretzels have gone through the baking soda bath.
Baking at 450° for 12-15 minutes. Watch them carefully towards the end of the bake, you want them golden brown, not burnt! Yields 4-6 pretzels.
If you choose to top with cinnamon sugar, brush with melted coconut oil or vegan butter before sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top.