My new bread machine (an Oster Expressbake) inspired me to make soft pretzels. The recipe in the manual called for eggs so I found a vegan recipe online. I cut out the oil due to the high baking temp of 450º (my highest rated oil is only safe to 425º, plus we try to avoid cooked oil). I also used whole wheat bread flour plus vital wheat gluten instead of regular bread flour. These are so scrumptious; if you add a bit of Earth Balance Buttery Spread, they taste like the really-bad-for-you soft pretzels that you get at the mall.
8-9 ounces of hot water (one cup + 1-2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1. Follow the directions for your bread maker’s dough cycle (it should take about 1 hr 30 mins). When the cycle is finished, take the dough out and form into a large ball.
2. Rip off golf ball sized chunks of dough. Here is the tricky part; roll long thin snakes of dough (about 16 inches long) without ripping them. I press really hard as I roll the dough. Twist the snake into the shape of a pretzel and let it sit on the counter.
3. Once I have 6 pretzels, I preheat the oven to 450º.
4. One at a time, dip pretzels in a baking soda bath (1/2 cup hot water and 1 ½ tablespoon of baking soda). Drip dry a bit and stretch the shape as it drips.
5. Place on a very slightly greased cookie sheet (I use Spectrum Canola Spray Oil and wipe it off) and sprinkle with salt (regular or kosher).
6. Bake at 450º for 8-9 minutes (third rack from the top in my oven).
7. Take off and cool on a rack (eat one right away because they are best fresh out of the oven).
8. While the first batch is baking, roll and shape the rest of the pretzels.
9. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Pop in the toaster oven to reheat.
Makes 13 pretzels. One pretzel has 124 calories, .5 grams of fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, and 5.5 grams of protein.