Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

I have been wanting to create a recipe for gluten free soft pretzels for some time, now, but I had read that some had trouble with coarse Kosher salt melting. Not wanting to take the chance, I waited until I found some pretzel salt online. I think it makes a big difference in taste and appearance, as pretzel salt is very white, almost powdery. After finding that even professional bakers have trouble making the perfect pretzel, brown and shiny, I discovered what works the best to achieve this. I must have done a good job, as my gluten-eating husband stated that my gluten free soft pretzels taste identical to the real thing. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

Prep Time: 18 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Yield: Makes 7 4-inch pretzels.

Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

The perfect gluten free pretzels: brown, shiny and chewy!

Ingredients:

    For the Pretzels:
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons potato starch, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 cup potato flour (not potato starch)
  • 1-1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Vitamin C, ground or from a capsule
  • 1/2 cup water, warmed to 110°F
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 8 cups water, for water bath
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten, for basting
  • Neutral-flavored cooking oil, for pan
  • Pretzel salt, for garnish
  • For the Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

    To Make the Pretzels:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together tapioca flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, salt, and Vitamin C; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, add warm water, sugar, and yeast. Blend on low for a few seconds, just long enough to moisten the yeast. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes or longer and until foam develops on the top.
  3. Add egg and brown rice syrup; mix on medium-low speed to blend. Add flour mixture all at once; mix on low speed to combine. Then increase to medium, and then high speed, just long enough to combine. If the dough is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of lukewarm water at a time until slightly sticky.
  4. Oil the bottom of a medium-size bowl. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to the oiled bowl. Oil the dough ball by rolling it around in the bowl and cover. Allow it to rise in a warm environment for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Oil the top of the parchment paper; set aside.
  6. In a medium to large pot, bring water to a boil.
  7. Preheat the oven to 420°F.
  8. Divide dough into 7 pieces*. One at a time, prior to rolling, knead a piece 12 - 14 times in your hands. On a lightly starch-dusted surface, roll the kneaded dough into an 18-inch long rope. Twist it into a pretzel shape by forming each rope into a U-shape. Then cross the ends about 3 inches from their top ends. Twist once and bring the 2 ends down to the bottom of the U-shape. Pinch slightly to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet and allow to rise 10 - 15 minutes.
  9. Add baking soda to boiling water; stir until it dissolves. Beginning with the first pretzel you made, using a slotted spatula, add it to the boiling water for about 40 seconds, submerging on and off often. Remove the pretzel, allowing excess water to drain. Transfer to a wire rack to drain thoroughly.
  10. While on the wire rack, baste the tops and sides of the pretzels with beaten egg (best done over a baking sheet or sink). Transfer the pretzels, using a spatula, to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
  11. Remove baking sheet and pretzels from the oven. Baste all of them with more beaten egg (it will dry quickly - that's okay). Now, baste one again with egg and immediately sprinkle with pretzel salt, 3 - 4 grains per bite. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Place them back in the oven to continue baking another 3 - 8 minutes or until dark brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  12. For best results, serve your pretzels the same day you bake them. To store leftovers, leave them out at room temperature. Storing in a closed container causes salt to melt and makes them moist.
  13. To Make Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:
  14. Add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and whisk thoroughly. Cook over medium heat until warm. Serve in a small bowl alongside warm pretzels.

Tips

*Once you roll your first rope, test it out to see if the ends actually stick to the pretzel. If not, prior to kneading each piece, make a well in the center and add a few drops of water in the center. Knead it in, and test again. When doubling this recipe, there is no need to increase the water and baking soda bath ingredients.

Cinnamon Sugar Variation: For cinnamon sugar pretzels, whisk together 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Substitute the pretzel salt with cinnamon sugar.

22 Replies to “Gluten Free Soft Pretzels”

  1. Hi Carla,
    These pretzels look delicious! I have been searching for a recipe for gluten free hard pretzel rods. Do you think baking them longer or dehydrating them will produce a hard pretzel?

    1. I have read your site daily and rarely comment. But today I read your site and realized that over time you truly care for your cooking. You’re passionate and every recipe I have used has never failed. What an amazing cook! Thanks for making my creations what they are today. Where do you find the time and energy with your situation to create flaky light super dough? The fees are minimal compared to the resources you have given me as a gluten, dairy and soy reader and cook! Thanks again…The Cookn Coach

  2. Thanks so much for the recipe. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but my dough isn’t rising. I’ve made it twice now and the water add to the yeast it at the perfect temp and it bubbles just like you describe. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jillian,

      The temperature of the rising environment is a factor in rising. Room temperature is considered 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can always preheat your oven to the lowest temperature, 170 – 200 degrees. Then shut it off and leave the door open for 30 – 60 seconds before adding a “heatproof” bowl of dough in it and leave the door open a crack.

      In addition, things to watch out for in this recipe are to avoid the use of “buffered” Vitamin C. It does not help the dough at all, and be sure to use “instant” yeast, not active.

      I hope this helps.

      Carla

  3. Is the vitamin c an important ingredient? Never heard of using it in baking before and am intrigued by it but don’t have any on hand at the moment.

  4. Could ascorbic acid (aka Fruit Fresh) be used in place of the crushed Vitamin C? It’s basically the same thing, isn’t it?

  5. Miss Carla,
    Any suggestions on differences needed to make these into a pretzel bun? times, heat etc…?
    Thank you!

    1. Juli,

      I have never made pretzel buns before. The larger you go, though, I would suggest reducing the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake longer.

      I hope this works well for you! Let us all know.

      Carla

  6. Facebook Comment Dec. 16, 2012:

    ” I just took a batch of these out of the oven! I thought they would be harder to do, but really easy! THANK YOU Carla!! Definitely doubling the batch next time!”

    ~S.B.G.

    1. Ann,

      I haven’t tried it yet, but I eventually plan on trying to substitute the potato flour for rice flour. That’s my suggestion. I’m not sure if it will be as chewy, but it’s definitely with a shot. Let me know if it works for you.

      Carla

  7. The link to the posts in the rss posts has been leading to a page saying your website has been down for maintenance for the last week or so… fyi!

    1. Kristin, Thanks for letting me know. I’m subscribed via RSS as well, via Feedburner, and I just clicked on one of links and it was fine. Not sure how you’re subscribed. Perhaps resubscribing will help. Here’s the link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GlutenFreeRecipeBox . When I visited this link it I noticed that the AOL feed no longer exists. I am not sure why. I’ll investigate, though. You can subscribe via Yahoo, Google+, and more, though. How I subscribed was I clicked on “Get Gluten Free Recipes | Gluten Free Recipe Box delivered by email” below all of the icons for Google+, etc. I hope this helps.

      Carla

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