Of all the gluten free bread there is, even though I can’t choose a total fave, these gluten free pretzel rolls are, well, up there. With my favorites. There’s something about that salty sweetness, the fluffy inside with the crisp yet chewy outside…
Why would anyone call these “bretzels”? Pretzel is a perfectly fine name. Some days, I worry that I haven’t a clue. Other days … I’m resigned to it. It’s okay. It’s kind of peaceful.
These rolls are so nice and crunchy-chewy on the outside, tender and almost tangy-sweet on the inside. Maybe spring for some good coarse salt to sprinkle on top. They make great sandwiches, too. They’re multi-taskers! Like you. I bet you multi-task with the best of them.
This gluten free bread dough is particularly wet…
…until you add a bit more flour, and it, well, it’s still kinda wet, but a bit more solid.
Divide it into roll-like portions, and dust them with flour.
Roll each into a ball, then flatten a bit into a disk. And set them to rise.
Look at that rise. Seriously. Smooth and lovely little dough babies.
Then boil in a baking soda bath.
Slice the top and sprinkle with coarse salt. Et voilà.
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
Scant 1/2 cup (43g) cultured buttermilk blend powder (I use Saco brand) (you can substitute 1/3 cup (43g) whey powder or the same amount dry milk powder by weight)
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, 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.