April 27, 2018

Homemade Low Carb Pretzels - Wheat Free (Almond flour based pretzels)

Wheat Free - Low Carb Pretzels

A few days ago I was craving a pretzel - a homemade, hot pretzel dipped in cheese.  However I knew I would not be happy with myself if I gave in and ate a big old carby wheat pretzel (or more likely three or four of them once I made a batch!) so instead I used my 'go to' low carb dough that I use for well... everything.

I ended up making pretzels, flatbreads to use for individual pizzas, hotdog buns and bagels out of this one.

Homemade Pretzels

12 oz. warm water
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups
1/2 stick butter, melted
Vegetable oil or butter
4 cups water
1 oz. food grade lye crystals
Pretzel salt or coarse Kosher salt

Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Mix or blend briefly.  Let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly and foamy.  Add the flour and melted butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined then on medium approximately 4 minutes until it forms a nice elastic ball.  Use butter or vegetable oil to cover the bowl and the dough and return the dough to the bowl, letting rise until dough has doubled in size.   Depending on how warm or cold your home is, you may need to cover with plastic wrap and wait up to 40-50 minutes or it could double within 15-20 minutes.  When doubled in size, punch down to release the air.

Turn the dough out onto parchment paper or a lightly oiled work surface.  Start dividing your dough into half, then each into half again and each of those into half until you have about 12-16 pieces of dough.  Roll out each piece of dough into a long, thin rope about 18-20 inches long.  Criss-cross the ends of the rope over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
Place the pans in the freezer for 10-30 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare your lye water bath and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a ceramic, glass or non-reactive bowl, place 4 cups water.  Measure out 1 oz. lye and slowly and carefully add to the water.  Carefully place the pretzels one at a time into the lye bath.  Do not put your fingers in the water and only use a slotted, non reactive spoon to remove.  Dip each pretzel for 30 seconds and place on parchment sheet covered baking sheets.  Sprinkle with pretzel salt (the large, kosher, coarse style) and bake approximately 15-22 minutes until golden brown and done.

Low Carb Dough

1 1/2 c (heaped a little) almond flour - fine grain, blanched
1/2 t xanthan gum - optional
1 T baking powder
2 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl place the almond flour, xanthan gum and baking powder.  Stir just to blend.  Beat the 2 eggs briefly and add them to the bowl.  Do not mix.

In a microwave safe bowl place the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese.  Microwave until the cheese is melted, stirring once.  This can take 2 minutes depending on your microwave.  Pour the cheese into the bowl of almond flour mixture and eggs.  Using a bread dough hook, mix and knead until it forms a dough, scraping down the sides often to help blend. Remove to a piece of parchment paper. Divide the dough into as many pieces as you wish for what you are making.

This recipe can make pizza crusts, bagels, hamburger buns, rolls, etc.  Divide your pieces up.  Roll each piece into a ball and place on parchment on a baking sheet.  I press mine down a little to form a 'hamburger bun' shape.  Bake at 400 for approximately 12-18 minutes - but base it on your own oven's baking personality.  Some are hotter than others.  Cook until they are puffed up, golden brown and brown on the bottoms.  Let them sit for a couple minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  (You don't have to do this, but if you let them cool completely on the parchment they can trap moisture and get too soft and moist and tend to wrinkle.)Slice them into hamburger buns, etc. and use them in various ways for toasting, garlic bread, etc.

For pretzels, cut into walnut sized pieces and roll into ropes.  Make the pretzel shape.  These are a little too delicate to 'dip' into the lye water bath like a wheat flour based pretzel so instead, just brush the lye water on them heavily with a non-reactive utensil (I own one of these; Silicone Basting Brush).  Sprinkle with sea salt or rock salt - anything with a larger granule than table salt.  Bake at 400 about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the baking pan/parchment paper after 1 minute to a cooling rack.  

YUM!  It's not the yeasty wheat pretzel but close enough for those of us used to eating low carb and baking with almond flour, etc.

Print Friendly and PDF