August 7, 2009

Gluten Free Soft Pretzels!

Last weekend I made a quick stop to Lil's, my favorite dietary shop, to pick up some gluten free pasta. As much as I love going there, it's also very dangerous on my pocketbook because Marcie is constantly finding great new products to sell and I am constantly buying them! This time was no different. What did she have for me this time?

Gluten. Free. Soft. Pretzels.

As soon as she pulled the bag out of the freezer case, visions of high school lunch period came rushing back. One of my favorite lunches was buying a giant soft pretzel and either dipping it in a cup of cheese or dunking it in a pile of squeezed out mustard packets. Then I found out I had celiac and my soft pretzel days were over. Could I seriously be reunited with such a wonderful concession stand snack? I couldn't wait to find out!

While I had planned on rushing home and immediately shoveling one of the salty twisted breads into my mouth, I was sidetracked and unable to make a pretzel until just a few days ago. I decided that yes, yes I was going to eat a pretzel for dinner. So there.

Following the directions on the AllerEngery bag, I baked the pretzel for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I placed my pretzel on a foil covered cookie sheet, wet the pretzel a tiny bit so the salt would stick (yes, they even come with a little salt packet!), sprinkled the salt over and baked that bad boy for 10 minutes. With very little effort and almost no time at all, I once again had a soft pretzel before me.

I was good! I can't lie and say that I wasn't hoping it would be like old times. Some gluten free stuff just isn't the same. This pretzel included. It tasted a bit sweeter (like a dessert bread) and the insides weren't as soft and doughy as a regular soft pretzel. I think baking it could be one of the reasons. I know some breads do better in the microwave than the toaster. This might be one of those "pop it in the microwave" ones where it turns out softer and mushier. I have fond memories of squeezing the bread to scrape the last bit of cheese out of cup. This pretzel doesn't squeeze so well.

Although it was very savory, I think I set my expectations a bit too high, which is to be expected. When I had my first gluten free bread 10 years ago I was expecting it to be just like any regular store bought bread. I'm sure you can imagine my disappointment when it crumbled completely and the dry breadcrumbs stuck to the roof of my mouth.

Just like the bread, I'm not giving up on these pretzels! Next one is going in the microwave. I'll report back with any new findings. In the meantime, I would highly recommend you checking them out for yourself! They really are a treat! Swing by Lil's to pick up a bag!


Jules said...

Hi Betsy,
So glad you're making the most of Lil's and Marcie - she's a wonderful resource. I know you were at Thrive in April - did you get to try one of my GF Soft Pretzels at my cooking demonstrations? Ask Marcie about them - she loved them! just posted about my recipe; if you don't already have it, check it out at You can always email me for more recipes like this one too! It came out in one of my free recipe newsletters earlier this year.
I know you'll enjoy!

Betsy said...

Hey Jules!
I did NOT get to try the pretzels. I think you were all out by the time I came by. I was able to try to chicken skewers and quinoa salad. Tasty!

I will definitely bake up your pretzel recipe soon. Marcie and I talked about them, but the frozen ones were a little quicker. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Michelle said...

Thank you for the review - I hope the 2nd pretzel is better!