When I was in high school, my cafeteria used to sell soft pretzels with a bright orange dip. The pretzels were probably filled with preservatives and defrosted in bulk, and I shudder to think about the ingredients in that cheese dip, but they were nevertheless a popular lunch choice among my friends and me. Even now, I look back on those meals with fondness–there’s nothing better than a warm soft pretzel shared with classmates (and maybe a high school crush or two).
I still love soft pretzels, but eating a whole foods diet means that I’d rather make mine from scratch than purchase from the freezer section of the grocery store. These pretzels are very simple to make and don’t require a lot of active kitchen time; simply stir, knead, and let the dough rise before baking it for 15 minutes. And instead of a plasticky cheese dip, I served my pretzel bites with an easy spicy mustard dipping sauce. I think the high school version of me would approve of this twist on my favorite snack, don’t you?
Vegan Pretzel Bites With Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon packet active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 3 tablespoons flakey salt, for topping
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 4-5 dashes hot sauce
- Water to thin
1. In a small bowl, stir water and sugar together and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble and foam.
2. Put flour and coconut oil into a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and mix the dough to incorporate. If the dough seems dry, add a tablespoon of water. When the dough has come together, turn it out on a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and put in a warm place to let rise for 1 hour.
4. While the dough is rising, make the dipping sauce. Whisk together mustard, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, and hot sauce. Add water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached.
5. When dough has risen, heat oven to 425°F. Roll out dough and cut lengthwise into thin strips. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Let rest for 5 minutes.
6. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot, then remove from heat. Stir in baking soda. Carefully pour hot water and baking soda mixture into a shallow baking sheet.
7. Using a slotted spoon, submerge bites in water for 30 seconds each, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When all of the dough has been submerged, generously sprinkle with salt.
8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the bites are browning quite a bit. Remove from oven and serve warm with mustard dipping sauce.
Also by Molly: Vegan Crispy Artichoke Hummus Wraps
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Photos: Molly Lansdowne