Display of GF Pizza, wings, and pretzels

Opinion Post – Week 6 #RomBakeOff

Welcome to Week 6 of #RomBakeOff, also known as Pretzel Week. Technically week 6 was last week but given the Super Bowl is currently playing I thought pretzels would work nicely to go along with the big game so I postponed my baking. I happen to love pretzels and used to get one in any mall I visited which had a particular vender. However, since discovering I needed to avoid gluten my soft pretzel consumption immediately dropped to zero but I was still tormented by memories whenever I smelled those pretzels in the mall.

Flour, sugar, salt, yeast, xantham gum, egg, butter, baking powder
Everything minus the water
Very sticky dough on a mat.
Too sticky to knead

I also have to admit I tried to make GF Pretzels once years ago and they were a dismal failure. As in they disintegrated when I was boiling them so I was even more determined to make not just GF Pretzels and delicious GF Pretzels to go along with the rest of my football munchies. I started by looking through my favorite cookbooks, no luck, then I turned to the internet. After reviewing and discarding several recipes, I settled on one by King Arthur Flour. I liked this one enough so the only change I made was to use my own GF Flour blend and well… I decided the mixer had kneaded the dough until it was smooth because my greased fingers promptly stuck.

Risen dough in bowl
It’s alive!
8 balls of dough, 2 larger for buns and 6 smaller for pretzels
Ready for shaping

I was really concerned when I couldn’t knead the dough because I knew it should build up some structure. I was very pleased when I checked the dough after about 90 minutes in my makeshift proofing drawer to find out that it was alive. Then it was back to the scale and higher math as I tried to figure out how much each pretzel should weigh and then how to come up with some pretzel buns. After dividing the dough, I had to actually form the pretzels. After a few misstarts and redos I mostly got the hang of forming them. By the end I had a couple which looked almost professional.

Forming the pretzel
Form a loop and cross the ends
Baking sheet with 6 formed pretzels
Look… some actually resemble pretzels

After I boiled the pretzels and the buns it was time to bake. I will admit it was quite fascinating to watch them rise from the depths of my pot as the recipe instruction claimed they would. Sadly I wasn’t able to get any decent pictures but take my word for it, fascinating. I was so excited when the timer went off and what emerged from the oven looked really impressive. However, as good as they looked my hard work would be for nothing if they didn’t taste good. So I decided to sample from the most deformed pretzels one traditional rock salt and the other cinnamon sugar. They were a success and I look forward to trying my pretzel buns later this week with some sliders.

Baked seasoned pretzels on baking sheet
Baked and Seasoned – half savory half sweet
Baking sheet with baked Pretzel Buns
Baked Buns

My pretzels were a lovely starter to my GF Superbowl menu.

Display of GF Pizza, wings, and pretzels
GF Pizza, Wings, and Pretzels

If you are interested in more check out the hashtag #RomBakeOff on Twitter and Instagram. My previous posts are linked below.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

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