Earlier this winter, I had this craving for chewy, salty, soft-pretzels. I also happened to be on a sourdough baking kick and wanted to make something that I could eat without feeling guilty, achy, or brain-foggy (grains and gluten tend to do this to me). I took to Pinterest and Google but could only find sourdough pretzels with wheat flour or gluten-free pretzels with commercial yeast, so I set out to create my own recipe.
The Sourdough Starter
If you have a typical, wheat starter, you can split a small amount off and start feeding it with cassava. Your sensitivity to wheat/gluten will dictate how many times you want to split it and feed it grain-free before you feel comfortable using it. You can also purchase a gluten-free starter. I’ve started seeing them in higher end grocery stores, or you can order one here. Once it’s established, feed it until you have 1/2 cup plus some to feed for next time.
1/2 cup Grain-free Sourdough Starter
1 cup Cassava Flour
1/2 cup Tiger Nut Flour
1 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
1 cup Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons baking soda (for water wash)
2 tablespoons melted grass-fed butter
Kosher Salt for sprinkling
- Mix starter, flours, xanthum gum, salt, and coconut milk in glass bowl. It will make a stiff dough.
- Cover and set in warm place for 4-12 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Roll out pretzels on a cassava-floured board. I made a traditional shape, but feel free to get creative. We used to make our initials when we were kids!
- Bring a large pot of water with the baking soda to a rolling boil. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkled with cassava.
- Use a slotted spatula to gently lower a pretzel or two into the boiling water. Boil for one minute. They should float after about 30 seconds. If the pretzels fall apart, try freezing the formed shapes first for an hour.
- Lift the pretzel from the water and allow to drain for a couple seconds. Place on baking sheet. Repeat for all pretzels.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
You can also experiment with sweeter pretzels with cinnamon and such. I’m more of a savory gal myself.