Erin McKenna, founder of BabyCakes NYC, brings back bagels, croissants and rolls for vegan and gluten-sensitive eaters in Bread and Butter.
This is the least sweet dessert I have ever made. It’s not unlike Mexico’s famous and exceptional churro, though it has a more boring name (nothing beats the word churro except for maybe its cousin, chimichanga). These pretzels have a few more steps than you are probably accustomed to me providing, but they are not at all difficult. Bake these off by the dozens if you have an outdoor activity to attend or host.
- Make the pretzels: In a small bowl, combine the warm water, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the yeast and let the mixture proof until it bubbles, about 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, the remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, the xanthan gum, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and vanilla and, using a rubber spatula, stir until a firm ball of dough forms. If the dough is too wet, add more rice flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it just comes together. Cover the dough with a dish towel and let it sit on the countertop for 1 hour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, brush lightly with oil, and set aside. Make the cinnamon-sugar: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, whisk together, and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and portion out into 14 balls the size of Ping-Pong balls. Using your hands, roll each ball into a rope about 10 inches in length. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape, pressing the ends tightly together so they hold their shape. Put them on the prepared baking sheets.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large pot set over high heat, bring 3 inches of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Reduce the heat to low. Put 1 pretzel in the water and boil for 45 seconds. Using tongs, turn the pretzel over and cook for 30 more seconds. Transfer the pretzel to a wire rack to drain. Once the pretzel is completely drained, roll in the cinnamon-sugar, then return it to the baking sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining dough, placing the boiled and coated pretzels about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 5 minutes, and then rotate the baking sheets 180 degrees. Bake until browned, 5 minutes. Let the pretzels cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before serving.
Reprinted from Bread & Butter. Copyright © 2015 by Erin McKenna. Food photographs by Davide Luciano, copyright © 2015 by Davide Luciano. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.