Have you ever had one of those weeks in your kitchen where all of your “great ideas” turn out to be absolutely disgusting?
Yeah, well, let’s just say that putting cannellini beans in peanut butter pudding doesn’t work. At. All. Just sayin’.
Then came my craving for vegan soft pretzels. My first attempt tasted good enough, but looked, well, interesting, to say the least. And to show you just how interesting they looked, I’m swallowing my pride and including a picture of one of them here.
Okay, so it doesn’t look that horrible, but it doesn’t really look like a pretzel. I’m definitely still learning how to roll and shape soft pretzels. By the way, the practice pretzel above was made out of all white flour–hence, the whiter color. :)
That’s what I love about food blogging! I get to embark on all kinds of new adventures in my kitchen and write about my successes and, occasionally, my failures. (Notice, I didn’t say “my occasional failures”.)
But these? These were no failure.
Now, go ahead and go to the kitchen and make yourself a batch of these!
Vegan Garlic Soft Pretzels
For the Dough:
- 3/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1/2 tablespoon pure cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 oz vegan margarine (melted and divided)
- pretzel salt or course sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil for bowl and pan
- Italian seasoning
For the Boil:
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cups baking soda optional –I left it out, and they still tasted delicious.
- Combine 3/4 cup lukewarm water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl (or mixer). Sprinkle your active dry yeast on the top and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Make sure your yeast is starting to foam/bubble slightly. If it isn’t foaming or bubbling at all, you’ll want to start this step again with new ingredients, and make sure your water wasn’t too hot.
- Add your flour, garlic powder, and 1 ounce (about 1 tablespoon) of melted Earth Balance (or other vegan) margarine to your yeast mixture. Knead all ingredients together in a mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes. Your dough should be soft, not too sticky, and it should cling to itself. I had to add another few teaspoons of water to reach this consistency. If you need to do that, make sure you add your water (or flour) 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Brush a bowl with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, and place your dough in it, covering it with a towel or plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm place without drafts. I like to turn my oven on 200 degrees F for just a few minutes, then turn it off and place my bowl of dough inside the oven to rise. Let dough rise for about 45 minutes, or until dough has roughly doubled in size.
- Bring 10 cups water (and 2/3 cup baking soda, if you are using that) to boil in a good sized pot on the stove.
- Divide your dough into about 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope (about 22 inches long), and braid into pretzels.
- Prepare a baking sheet with either a non-stick liner or oil. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Boil your pretzels one by one for about 30 seconds each. Remove pretzels with a large slotted spatula, and place on your prepared baking sheet.
- Melt another 1 ounce of vegan margarine and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt. Brush this mixture on top of your pretzels. Then sprinkle them with some course sea salt (or pretzel salt) and Italian seasoning.
- Bake your pretzels at 450 degrees F for about 11 minutes, or until they are a nice golden brown on top.
- Allow your pretzels to cool off just for a minute or two. Just before you serve, brush them with a little bit more melted margarine with garlic powder and salt (optional). Serve hot!
- Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe here.
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