I haven’t had soft baked pretzels since before my diagnosis with Coeliac Disease. It has been at least 12 years and wow these taste even better than I imagined. My Mum, sister and I always used to enjoy a warm cinnamon pretzel from Pretzel World, when we visited the ‘big smoke’ of the city to go shopping. It would only happen about twice a year, but it was definitely a highlight of our visit and inspired me to recreate them, free of gluten! There is nothing better than a fresh, warm pretzel in cinammon sugar. So Pretzel World if you’re reading this (and you’re still around, I’m actually not sure), gluten free pretzels are easy to make and taste just as good!
- UPDATED: Gluten free bread flour: I didn’t think this existed, but Ardor make pizza flour, which worked perfectly as a replacement. However, if you’re not in Melbourne and don’t have access to this, I have tried this recipe with Orgran gluten free plain flour, available at most supermarkets and it worked really well. I did previously mention I thought Laucke would work, however this is not the case, I tried it in various ratios with the box and the packet versions, but it was always doughy. I made them three times to test, with Orgran, Laucke and a mix of Orgran/Laucke and Orgran was by far the best and not doughy. It was very similar to Ardor pizza flour in texture, and I would definitely make it again with this.
- Change up the flavour: This recipe makes 12 pretzels. I usually make half sweet and half savoury. Adjustments for each are in the recipe. You could even make some dipping sauce to go with them, or add crushed nuts to the top.
- Rolling tips: Roll the dough to approximately 40 centimetres in length. For me this was 1.5 cm wide. Then bring the ends together and wind twice (see photo below), before bringing down into a pretzel shape.
- Boiling soda bath: Do not leave the pretzels in here for longer than 10 seconds otherwise, it will ruin their flavour and texture. Use a slotted spatula to remove them, and place on a plate to allow excess soda water to drain off before baking.
I hope you enjoy! Please tag me in any of your creations on instagram, @gfgirlmelb.
- 1 & 1/2 cups (360ml) lukewarm water*
- 1 (7g) packet active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp (15g) brown sugar
- 3 tsp (15g) butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 & 3/4 cups (460-500g) gluten free bread flour** (+ more for rolling)
- Baking soda bath:
- 1/2 cup (120g) baking soda
- 9 cups (2.2L) water
- Coarse Salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbs melted butter
- Whisk the yeast into the lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Add the salt, brown sugar and melted butter and whisk together.
- Using the dough hook mixing attachment, slowly add the gluten free flour, one cup at a time, to the yeast mixture, mixing on low speed. Continue adding the flour until the dough is thick, not sticky and can easily form a ball. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula. If the dough is too sticky or runny, then add 1/4 of extra flour at a time. Scraping down the sides of the bowl before and after. This can prevent too much or too little flour from being added. See note regarding the type of flour added
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured (gluten free) surface. Form into a ball, place into a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Prepare the baking soda bath. In a large saucepan bring baking soda and water to boil.
- Shape the dough: Cut the dough into 12 even sized pieces (approximately 81g each). On your bench roll the pieces out into 40-50cm pieces of rope, 1.5 cm in width. Flour the surface if your dough is sticking. Try to taper the thickness of the dough at the ends. As per the photos above, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends together, then bring them towards yourself and press down into a pretzel shape. (There are some useful tutorials on Youtube, but once you've seen it is really easy). Complete with all the dough.
- Using a large slotted spatula place the pretzels one at a time into the boiling baking soda bath for 5-10 seconds. They should rise to the surface. As soon as they do remove them with the slotted spatula and place on a plate to drain. Don't leave them in for longer as it will give them a metallic taste. Then place pretzels onto prepared baking trays.
- For savoury pretzels: Sprinkle them with coarse salt. Skip this step if you're making sweet ones (I like to make half sweet and half savoury).
- Place pretzels in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy straight away.
- For a sweet version: mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Melt the butter. Brush the warm, baked pretzels with the melted butter, and toss in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Enjoy!
* Luke warm water is around 40 degrees Celsius. This is a good temperature to activate the yeast, but not kill it. A thermometer can help if you're unsure. ** If you use Ardor gluten free pizza flour than the range is as above, 460-500g. However, when I subbed in Orgran plain flour I used approximately 50 grams more than this. So add 1/4 of a cup at a time, until the dough easily forms a ball. Ensure you scrape down the bowl, as the dough can stick.