Soft and simply irresistible: low carb, grain free pretzels take snacking to the next level.
I am German, and therefore hardwired to like pretzels. Everybody knows that in Bavaria babies are basically born with a pretzel in their hand. But even up north, where I come from, they are one of the highlights in any bakery. You can always find them on the top of the counter, dangling seductively on their little wooden stand, just out of reach for little hands.
Pretzel benefits: They are easy to hold. The perfect mixture of chewy and crunchy. Kind of fun because of their shape and just a great snack.
But. Not low carb, friends!
Needing a pretzel fix, I set about making a low carb version with almond and coconut flour. The result looked quite cute and tasted nice and crumbly, but…well, it was just not the soft, chewy taste experience I was after. It was simply a cookie in pretzel form.
Now, it’s time to throw pizza crust into the mix. The pizza problem – how to replace the doughy, crunchy wheat crust with something low carb – has been solved successfully with fat head pizza. I have traced the recipe as far back as I could. The first mention I found is here on cookyscreations, in June 2012. The idea was then re-named and made famous by the guys from the Fat Head Movie – see here. Fat head pizza dough tastes deliciously doughy and is a more than decent alternative to pizza. The only drawback is perhaps that it is incredibly filling. It is therefore almost impossible to eat a whole pizza.
Mozzarella, the secret ingredient in fat head pizza dough, is the solution for successful low carb grain free pretzels!
Alas, I am not the first person to put 1 and 1 together and feel the need to write about it. I came across this recipe by My Tootie Foodie, which uses psyllium husk as opposed to almond flour like in the fat head pizza. It even gives an original and a sweet cinnamon version, which I’ll definitely have to try next. As baked mozzarella dough tastes not like cheese at all, I imagine cinnamon pretzels would be rather delicious.
I decided to stay close to the original fat head recipe, but added some flax seed and baking powder to the mix so the dough would rise. It does help, though it is virtually impossible to make the pretzels look exactly like the wheaten original. They do spread a bit when baking. The taste, though, is exceptional – when fresh out of the oven, they are chewy with a pleasant bite and delightfully soft and on the inside.
All gone in 5 minutes. Result!
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
- 3 tbsp full fat cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tbsp flaxseed
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch of coarse sea salt
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Melt the mozzarella and the cream cheese. I did this in a pan on a very low heat, stirring constantly once the melting process starts. If you have a microwave, 1½ minutes should do the trick.
- If you do this on the stove, turn off the heat once the cheese is fully melted. Add the egg and stir until combined. If your egg is straight from the fridge, you might have to heat the mixture a little bit. Just be patient. It will happen in the end!
- Add the almond flour, flaxseed and baking powder and stir until combined. You should end up with a big mozzarella ball that looks just like dough.
- Oil your hands. With a spoon, pinch off a piece of dough the size of a ping pong ball and stretch/roll it in your hands until it is about 20 cm long.
- On a lined baking sheet, form it into a pretzel shape. Continue until all dough is used.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for circa 20 minutes until nicely browned. You might want to rotate the baking sheet half way through.