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Sourdough Pretzels (raw, vegan, gluten-free, cultured)

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Sourdough-Pretzels-mainThis is not your typical sourdough recipe.  I use to own a sourdough starter, well more like, IT owned me. haha   But that was a coon’s age ago.  A typical recipe for creating your own starter contains;  yeast, warm water, all-purpose flour, and sugar.  It then takes 5-10 days to ferment and requires regular “feedings”.

My approach in creating a sourdough pretzel was to ferment the nut pulp.  Goodness, if you are new to raw foods, I am sure that I have scared you away with the words of ferment and nut pulp.  :)  Stay put, I promise that you will find this recipe easy and tasty!   I borrowed the fermentation process from making nut “cheese”…. Probiotics!  Why couldn’t I ferment some almond pulp?!  Well, I could and did!

If you are uncertain as to whether or not you like sourdough or if you are one that would like it but often find it to strong in flavor… I ask that you give this recipe a try.  With this recipe it is easy to control just how “sour” you want the dough to be.  The longer you allow it to ferment (culture, if the word ferment scares you) the stronger the sour flavor will be.

New to the idea of Probiotics and wonder what they are? They are a bacteria that helps to maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines.  They are believed to protect us in two ways.

The first is the role that they play is in our digestive tract.  We know that our digestive tract needs a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria, so what gets in the way of this?  Poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and environmental influences can all shift the balance in favor of the bad bacteria.  I bet that you can’t find these qualities in any processed pretzel on the market. :)

Sourdough-Pretzels1Ingredients:

Yields 5 cups dried 1″ pieces

Fermentation Stage:

Add after 24 hours fermenting:
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax-seed
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 5 tsp Braggs Aminos or Tamari
  • 2 tsp raw agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation:

Fermentation stage:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine the almond pulp, water and probiotics.  Mix well and cover the bowl.
  2. Place the covered bowl in the dehydrator set at the lowest temperature, I did 95 degrees and let it sit for 24 hours to ferment.  Please taste test through this process.  Once it reaches the strength of “sourdoughness” you like, move on to the next steps.

Creating the pretzel:

  1. In a food processor, fitted with a “S” blade, pulse together the fermented almond pulp, ground flax-seed and salt.
  2. Add almond butter, water, Braggs Aminos, agave and vanilla.  Process until everything is well combined.
  3. Piping bag ~
    • I highly recommend this method.  I used a disposable piping bag and a 1/2″ piping tip.  For thin pretzels use a 1/4″ tip.
    • Once you have the tip in place, put the bag in a tall glass and fold the edges over the glass.   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 (I had to refill the bag a second time).   Work all of the air bubbles out of the bag so that it doesn’t “burp” while creating a line of dough.
    • Place a teflex sheet on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
    • Hold the bag at a 22 1/2 degree angle (or 22 haha) and with a steady, consistent pressure, squeeze the batter out and slowly slide the bag down the teflex sheet.  Don’t go to fast and cause the line to break and don’t go to slow causing the batter to create 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.
  4. Sprinkle coarse sea or celtic 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. :)
  5. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour to set the “outer crust”.  Cut into 1″ pieces and now place them on the mesh sheet.  Continue drying at 115 degrees for 6-8 hours or until dry.  They do firm up a tad more once they cool.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
  • Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
  • 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.

Culinary Explanations:

  • 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).

Substitutions:

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.

4 thoughts on “Sourdough Pretzels (raw, vegan, gluten-free, cultured)

  1. Ludia says:

    I’ve got to try these! I just happen to have a cup of soaked almonds ready to make milk. I also have dehydrated almond pulp, so will experiment by re-hydrating it. At this point haven’t decided whether to mix the two, and make a whole recipe, or halve it and make two separate batches and compare. Hm, maybe the second.

    will keep you posted.

    Thanks for your always fresh and interesting ideas.

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Ludia… Keep me posted how your experiment turns out. Rehydrating the nut pulp isn’t the same texture as fresh nut pulp but it might be worth a shot. Have fun, amie sue

      • Ludia says:

        Well, Ms. Amie Sue, you have done it again! You are a genius! A creative genius! A brilliant genius! :) What a inspired idea to turn almond pulp into pretzels! And they are delicious, and almost like their namesake. And better than their namesake in the sense that one does not feel that heaviness and slugishness afterwards. So thank you for opening my mind a little more. :)

        Now to what I did:
        My dried almond pulp didn’t taste so good, kinda stale, so didn’t use it after all..so, now I didn’t have 2 cups of fresh almond pulp, so I reduced the recipe, no prob.
        But that led to tinkering: Instead of vanilla, decided to go the sourdough pretzel route even further and used ground up carraway. Which then led to using cashew horseradish/mustard cheese (which I happened to have kicking around and which called to me – “me!, please!, use me!”, so I listened, LOL), and used it instead of the almond butter. And it is delish!! Thank you for the inspiration. Next time I am not going to listen to any cashew cheese and I will make your version, LOL.

        Making pretzels from almond pulp is the best, and inspired, use of the said almond pulp, IMHO. So thank you.

        • amie-sue says:

          Now Ludia…. you can send comments like that daily to me. hahaha Just teasing but gosh, thank you. What a real blessing to open up my emails and find such a wonderful comment. I am glad that you liked them. :) Your version sounds good too, haha But then I find it hard to really mess up a raw recipe. Adapt and play! Off to the kitchen I go, I hear it calling me. Have a wonderful weekend! amie sue

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