Raw pretzel challenge… Nikki, a Nouveau Raw follower asked if I could come up with a raw pretzel recipe, not only that she wanted one covered in chocolate. I accepted the challenge but cringed inside. Raw pretzels? How am I going to pull that one off?!
Late one evening I found myself lingering around the kitchen island. I was part bored, part tired, and part entertaining the thought of trying to get creative in the kitchen. Ahhh the raw pretzel challenge…. hmm, I had to stop and think. “What does a pretzel taste like?” They don’t have a huge amount of flavor, sort of yeasty, a hint of sweetness, and salty. Oh and lets not forget crunchy!
My first job…
My very first job was at the Pretzel Factory in Alaska. I was 14 years old. It wasn’t a pretzel manufacturing factory, it was one of those small eateries in the mall that sold fresh-baked cookies and pretzels. Oddly enough, I never really ate them. They smelled heavenly as they were baking though! I use to take the leftovers home after work (I worked the closing shift) and would give them to my uncles dog sledding team to gnaw on. :) Anyway, didn’t mean to ramble on, I guess creating these pretzels took me down memory lane.
In this recipe I used moist almond pulp for the bulk of the dough. After making them and taste testing a few, I don’t think that I would recommend swapping out the almond pulp with any other ingredient. For starters, it has a slightly sweet taste which I think helped to create that “pretzel” flavor. Secondly, the moist nut pulp gave it the perfect consistency, crunchy and sort of airy. They would be great coated with chocolate, dipped in Touchdown Cheese Sauce, honey or in Sweet & Spicy Mustard. These are the ways I grew up eating them, how about you, how do you eat pretzels?
I updated this recipe from 2013… just gave it some new pictures since I was busy snacking on them. :)
In a food processor, fitted with a “S” blade, pulse together the almond pulp, ground flax-seed and salt.
Add almond butter, water, Braggs Aminos, sweetener, and vanilla. Process until everything is well combined.
Piping the pretzels:
You will need a disposable piping bag and a 1/2″ piping tip. Click (here) for the supplies that I use.
Place the piping tip in the bag and cut the tip off so the tip pokes through but is nice and snug in the bag. If the hole is too big, the tip will shoot right out once you apply pressure to the bag.
Once you have the tip in place, slide the bag into a tall glass and fold the edges over the glass rim. This will create a stand and it will make it easy to fill it with the batter. I posted photos below.
Fill the piping bag with batter, about 3/4 quarter of the way full.
Work all of the air bubbles out of the bag so that it doesn’t “burp” while creating a line of dough.
You will need to re-load the bag 1-2 times throughout the process.
Place a teflex sheet on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
Hold the bag at a 22 1/2 degree angle and with a steady, consistent pressure, squeeze the batter out and slowly slide the tip down the teflex sheet.
Don’t go to fast and cause the line to break and don’t go to slow which will cause bulges. You will quickly get the hang of it.
Create solid lines from one side of the tray to the other. I have an Excalibur dehydrator that has large square trays.
Sprinkle a coarse sea salt on top and lightly press it into the dough. Because we are not using yeast these pretzels won’t rise causing the dough to grab onto the salt, so we have to help it a little. :)
Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour to set the “outer crust”.
Cut into 1″ pieces and then place them on the mesh sheet.
Continue drying at 115 degrees (F) for 6-8 hours or until dry.
They do firm up a tad more once they cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If they soften before eaten, pop them back into the dehydrator to firm them up.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
Learn how to make your own raw almond butter by clicking (here).
Learn how to grind you own flax-seeds for ultimate freshness and nutrition. Click (here).
Braggs Aminos is a gluten-free, soy-free… soy sauce substitute. There are many other comparable products that you can use. Click (here) to learn more about them.
Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.