High in protein, low in fat, these vegan soft pretzels are hearty and delicious. You can be enjoying them in less than an hour!
Happy 2019! I’m really off to a late start this year thanks to a lot of non-edible stuff happening in my life. Some of it involves saying goodbye to one canine family member and hello to a new one.
As you long-time readers know, I consider this a “blog” in its original meaning of “web log:” An online account of my life, especially, but not exclusively, the part of it that takes place in my kitchen. Many of you have seen my daughter grow from a 9-year old child to a senior in college and have been here with me as I went through everything from cursed vacations to cancer.
But I understand that there are those that want to skip all the chit-chat, and for those I offer this link to skip right to the info about the recipe:
For those of you who are still with me, I have to break the sad news that we lost Bandit in November. There’s no easy way to describe what happened, but it boils down to he was staying with a sitter, got out of the yard, and was attacked and killed by at least one other dog.
As you can imagine, we were grief-stricken and traumatized. I couldn’t fully enjoy the holidays because of the pain of losing him and the thought of what he must have suffered. This wasn’t the kind of news I wanted to burden my readers with right in the middle of the holidays, so I didn’t mention his death in my newsletter. I still can’t write about him without breaking down.
Foxley didn’t understand what had happened to Bandit, and we could tell that he missed his big brother. So toward the middle of December we started looking for a new dog to adopt, and we found Salem through the same Pomeranian rescue that had given us Bandit and Foxley. Because of the timing, we had to wait until after Christmas to meet Salem, but when we did, it was love at first sight:
Salem was a stray on the streets of Texarkana (sounds like the beginning of a country and western song!) We don’t know anything about his background, but the vet that examined his teeth estimated him to be around five years old. He was definitely somebody’s baby at one time because he’s fully housebroken, knows what a pet door is for, and will sit and offer his paw on command. He loves long walks and treats (too much) and has a few pounds to lose to be in better health. Foxley, after some initial jealousy, LOVES him and can’t stop licking him. He’s been a wonderful addition to our household.
I’ll now get to the business at hand, making these easy pretzels.
First a confession that is going to irritate some people: For the past year, I have been following Weight Watchers. I don’t talk about it because I don’t want to endorse it or any other diet, but I’m not going to apologize for it, either. I’m doing what works for me to regain my health when nothing else did. I’m down 55 pounds and 30 cholesterol points and back to a regular blood pressure. It’s been easy to do as a vegan and works well with whole-foods plant-based eating.
Because if this, I’ve been hanging out in Weight Watchers groups and learning some of the standard “low-points” recipes. One of them is a 2-ingredient dough that can be used to make bagels, pizza crust, and pretzels. The non-vegan version uses self-rising flour and fat-free yogurt. On WW, fat-free yogurt is a “free” food, meaning you don’t have to count it toward the points you’re allowed each day. There is no corresponding vegan yogurt that’s fat-free, so vegans often substitute silken tofu, which is also zero points.
I decided to try substituting silken tofu in this pretzel recipe, and it worked great.
Now, before someone jumps in to tell me, yes, real pretzels are yeast-raised; these baking powder pretzels are a quick bread, and because of that their flavor may be more like a biscuit than a traditional bread. But they were delicious enough for me to consider them a real treat. And vegan Weight Watchers will be interested in knowing that each vegan soft pretzel is 3 points.
How to Make These Easy Vegan Soft Pretzels:
Making these pretzels is pretty simple, but to guide you through the process, I took photos of each step.
First, blend the tofu with a little lemon juice (exact amounts are in the recipe below) until it’s completely smooth. The lemon juice adds some of the tanginess that yogurt would have and silken tofu doesn’t. I used a food processor because I thought getting the tofu mixture out would be easier than from the container of my Vitamix. Next time I will use my Vitamix to get it silky smooth without the starting, stopping, scraping down, and repeating that I needed to do in my food processor.
Pour the blended tofu into a bowl and add the flour (self-rising or a mix as noted in the recipe below.) Mix it well, turn it out onto a floured board, and kneed a few times until it sticks together. Cut it into 5 equal pieces.
Roll each piece of dough between your hands to form 5 ropes of dough between 12 and 14-inches long.
Form each rope of dough into a pretzel shape. Make an “O” with a twist at the top. Then twist again and bring the ends over the “O.”
Place the pretzels on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Brush each one with a little aquafaba (liquid from cooked or canned chickpeas) and sprinkle with coarse salt or Everything Bagel Sesame Seasoning. Bake in a preheated oven as directed below. At the end of the baking, turn your oven to broil to slightly brown the tops and watch constantly . Don’t leave or they may burn!
Serve with mustard or your favorite pretzel condiment!
I used unbleached white flour with baking powder and salt added, but you can make these even more easily by using self-rising flour. I’ve included instructions for both. White whole wheat flour may also work, but I haven’t tested them using it.
Easy Vegan Soft Pretzels
- 12.3 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (or 1 1/4 cups plain vegan yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (omit if using yogurt)
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour (or self-rising flour and omit baking powder and salt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using self-rising flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional if using self-rising flour)
- 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas)
- coarse salt
- Everything Bagel Seasoning (optional)
- Place the tofu and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container to get all the bits blended. (Skip this step if using plant-based yogurt.)
- Place the flour in a mixing bowl. If you're using plain flour, add the baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly. Pour in the tofu mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead gently about 10 times or until the dough holds together. Divide it into 5 equal pieces.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Lightly flour your hands. Roll each piece of dough between the palms of your hands until a rope begins to form. Put it down on on the floured board and roll it back and forth between your hands until it's between 12 and 14 inches long (longer is better.)
- Form the rope of dough into a pretzel shape (see photo above) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all the pieces of dough. Brush the tops lightly with aquafaba and sprinkle with coarse salt or Everything Bagel seasoning.
- Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes. Then, leaving the pretzels in the oven, turn the oven to broil and WATCH THEM until the tops begin to lightly brown, 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from oven and serve warm.
- Refrigerate any leftovers. May be reheated in a toaster oven.
Nutritional info is approximate.
I baked the pretzels on the Bake setting in my Breville Smart Oven Air. The air fryer setting might also have worked. If anyone tries air frying them, please let me know what settings worked for you.
I’m eager to try this dough as a pizza crust and perhaps as a bagel or bun. I’ll update the post to let you know how that goes.
Please Pin and share:
I participate in Amazon’s affiliate program; if you buy something through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. I’m not affiliated with Weight Watchers in any way, other than being a paying customer.