My oldest has been begging for "breakfast pretzels" for days. I assumed he didn't want crunchy pretzels and the only soft pretzels I was familiar with were covered in chunky salt for dipping in nacho cheese. After some browsing on Google, I ran across a bunch of recipes for making Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels. Perfect! This isn't my idea of a healthy breakfast, but I didn't mind spoiling my kids on a Saturday. The best looking recipe was found here - a great site if you want to make your pretzels with regular wheat flour. However, I can't eat gluten, and prefer to cook without it (especially when I want to taste the treats, too) - so here is my adaptation using gluten-free flours.
Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
1 packet quick-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/3 cup corn starch
1 1/3 cup potato starch
1 1/3 cup rice flour*
2 tsp xanthan gum
3 cups water
2 Tbsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup cinnamon/sugar mixture
In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups warm water and yeast. Stir in yeast and let rest until yeast becomes frothy. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
In a medium bowl, combine corn starch, potato starch, rice flour and xanthan gum. Mix well. Pour into yeast mixture and stir until sticky.
On a well floured surface, turn out dough and knead for several minutes, until dough is tacky but not sticking to your hands (add additional pinches of flour if necessary).
Place dough ball in a well oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide dough into 6 even portions. Roll each section into a long, thin log (no more than 1/2 in. in diameter). Form into pretzel shape, twisting ends together and attaching them to the middle of the log.
In large saucepan dissolve baking powder in the 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Dip pretzels into boiling water and cook 5 seconds. Pat pretzels dry on a clean towel, then place evenly spaced on a well-greased baking sheet.
Coat pretzels with beaten egg and bake 10 minutes, or until golden.
Remove pretzels from the oven and baste with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. If you have a big sweet tooth, coat on both sides.
*I used brown rice flour in my pretzels and they turned out fine. However, if you want slightly lighter pretzels, use fine white rice flour instead.
** We ate up all our pretzels in one sitting. If you are storing pretzels, keep in a well sealed container and reheat in microwave for 1-2 seconds to return moistness. Gluten-free breads can become dense and heavy when allowed to cool and stored.
1) Add brown sugar and mini chocolate chips for a dessert pretzel
2) Brush with melted butter then top with rock salt to serve with nacho cheese
3) Add your favorite savory herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc) and serve with swiss fondu
4) Mix in finely chopped dried fruits and nuts for a fun snack