Sometimes, being vegan means missing out admittedly-unhealthy-but-delicious-nonetheless foods. It seems like every time I go to the mall, the smell of soft, cinnamon-sugar pretzels waft through the air, just tempting me to give in and buy one. I never have, and now that I’ve put together this remarkable treat, I never will have to! I present to you: vegan cinnamon-sugar pretzels! I’ll admit, these things aren’t the same as eating a plate of greens, but they don’t hurt for a treat every once in a while. Better yet, they require very little ingredients and, though they can’t be put together within minutes, the steps are very simple.
First, prepare the ingredients for the pretzel dough. This will require combining active dry yeast with warm water, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Once the yeast has been activated, the mixture will be bubbly. Begin adding 1 cup of flour at a time to the bowl, mixing each time. Begin kneading it the dough. Once the dough is elastic and smooth, knead for about 5 more minutes.
Next, place the ball of dough in a bowl that has been greased with a small amount of olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until the dough has expanded to about twice its original size. Using a knife, cut the dough into 8 separate sections–1 for each pretzel–and begin rolling and twisting the pretzels into their desirable shape.
Now, for the signature “pretzel taste,” bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Place each pretzel in the baking soda bath for about 30 seconds, and then remove from the water. This process is, in my opinion, crucial for making pretzels that brown and harden on the outside, leaving a chewy bread on the inside.
Finally, add a mixture of equal parts sugar and cinnamon atop each pretzel. Sprinkle generously and then move onto a greased baking sheet (parchment paper will not work for these pretzels–the bottom of each pretzel would stick to the paper while baking).
Place baking pan in the oven at 450°F for about 12 minutes, until perfectly browned on the outside.
These pretzels are amazing right out of the oven. They’re sticky, sweet, and reminiscent of a perfect cinnamon roll on a Sunday morning. Enjoy these without the guilt of mall-bought pretzels. They can be customized any way you want to fit your preferences! Or, try cutting the dough into small bite-sized pieces, for tiny pretzel appetizers for a party, event, or night at home. Enjoy!
Vegan Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels
Yield: 8 pretzels
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 10 cups water (for baking soda bath)
- 2/3 cups baking soda (for baking soda bath)
- 3 tablespoons Cinnamon (for topping)
- 3 tablespoons (for topping)
- Combine yeast, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and warm water in a bowl for about 5 minutes, until yeast has activated (the mixture will be bubbly)
- Add 1 cup of flour at a time to the mixture at a time, mixing until the dough has combined
- Place the dough on a cutting board that has been sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough until it is elastic and smooth, then continue for an additional 5 minutes
- Place the dough in a bowl, greased lightly with olive oil, and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm area for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size
- Cut the dough out into 8 separate pieces on a cutting board. Carefully roll each piece of dough, about the width of a cutting board, and then twist into desired pretzel shape
- Bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Place each pretzel in the water for 30 seconds
- Create a cinnamon-sugar mixture and sprinkle atop each pretzel, then transfer pretzels onto a greased baking sheet
- Let pretzels bake in the oven for about 12 minutes in an oven, preheated at 450°F. Watch carefully: the pretzels will be done baking when they are golden-brown on the outside
- Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving