These gluten free soft pretzels truely are super soft, perfectly chewy and downright delicious. I will happily devour them warm with salted butter, it’s gluten free bread heaven.
Making them is also quite fun, and I’ve got lots of handy pictures to guide you through pretzel shaping in my recipe below. You mix everything together, prove then shape, before they have a little dunk in a water bath and then a quick bake.
You’ll feel like a proper pro baker after making these, even though the method is surprisingly straight forward!
Loooook at that lovely soft crumb structure inside the pretzels! They really are the best combination of soft bread and chewy crust.
Before we crack on, there are two ingredients you may or may not be familiar with. Please don’t skip any items in the recipe, gluten free bread making is a precise science so if you make substitutions the bake will not be the same.
Trust me, everything in the recipe plays a specific role, and our new friends psyllium husk and tapioca starch are well worth adding to your store cupboard.
What Is Psyllium Husk?
The little magic ingredient in this recipe is whole psyllium husk, which is a fantastic ingredient for gluten free bread making. Whole psyllium husk is widely available online and from health food stores. I buy this variety on Amazon.
It is a naturally-dervived fibre and it helps to give flexibility to gluten free bread, acting as a binder and improving the final texture of your bake. Do not skip it, else the end bake will not be soft and lovely.
I use whole psyllium husk, rather than the powdered variety. If you only have the powdered variety that’s okay, but you’ll need to reduce the amount used – use 12g psyllium powder.
What About Tapioca Starch?
A favourite flour of mine for bread making, I often add it to gluten free plain flour blends as it really helps with 1) pliability and stretch and 2) softness of the final bread.
Tapioca starch is sometimes called tapioca flour (the Bob’s Red Mill brand), but is different from cassava flour. If you do not have tapioca starch you can buy it on Amazon or find it in health food shops, and even Ocado sell it. I buy it from Shipton Mill.
You’ll find a lot of my bread recipes using tapioca starch, so grab yourself a bag and get baking with me :). It’s a gamechanger.
Gluten Free Soft Pretzel Recipe
This recipe makes 4 gluten free soft pretzels. You’ll find a full method below, plus lots of photos to help guide you through the recipe. However, feel free to email me any questions or comments you might have. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram/Facebook @myglutenfreeguide.
I love seeing your home bakes too so please send me photos of your creations, or tag @myglutenfreeguide on social media :).
Lastly, if you enjoy this recipe, I would be really grateful if you could leave a star rating or review on the recipe card below. Thank you!
p.s. for my old recipe using the Juvela Baking Mix, please scroll to the bottom of this page as I have saved it there
Soft, pillowy yet strecthy gluten free pretzels that are utterly incredible to eat.
- 230g gluten free plain/all purpose flour (I used FREEE by Doves Farm)
- 40g tapioca starch (I used Shipton Mill)
- 6g fast action/instant yeast
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 0.5 tsp fine salt
- 14g whole psyllium husk (don't skip this!)
- 200ml warm water
- 30g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- To a stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl, add the plain flour, tapioca starch, yeast, caster sugar, salt, psyllium husk, water and melted butter.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl and carefully measure 30ml of egg white only into the stand mixer bowl. Mix the remaining egg white and yolk together with 1 tsp water to make an egg wash, which we'll use later. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until needed.
- Turn the stand mixer on and mix on a medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Then leave it to rest for 5 minutes, before mixing again for a further 5 minutes on medium-high. During this time, the psyllium husk will be absorbing water from the dough, transforming it from a very wet mixture to a nice soft and pliable dough.
- Scoop the dough together to form a nice ball, then place it back into the bowl and cover the top of the bowl with a damp clean cloth or tea towel. Leave to rise for 1 hour at room temperature, until it has increased by about two thirds in size.
- Once the dough has risen, use a dough cutter or knife to cut into 4 even portions. Take one piece at a time and knead the dough with your hands until smooth. Then on a clean surface roll it into a long sausage shape (approx 40cm long). To shape the pretzel, place the sausage in a U shape, then turn the ends back towards you, crossing them over to create the pretzel shape (see images below). Press and pinch the dough together at the centre cross and the ends, to ensure the pretzel keeps it shape when boiled.
- Repeat step 5 with each dough portion until you have formed 8 pretzels.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and line a large baking tray with lightly oiled non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat.
- Fill a small saucepan with 1.3 litres water and add the bicarbonate of soda. Bring to simmering point then carefully drop a pretzel into the water. Boil the pretzel for 45 seconds, during which time it'll pop to the surface, give it a couple of gently dunks to immerse it briefly. Then remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking tray. Repeat for all 4 pretzels.
- Use a pastry brush to egg wash the pretzels. Sprinkle them with your topping of choice (salt or seeds), then place them into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until beautifully browned.
- Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. After 5 minutes they will firm up and you can enjoy them either while still warm or have them cold later. Like all fresh bread, these are best enjoyed on the day of baking. However, if you've any leftovers you can store them in an airtight container, then microwave to refresh (30 seconds - 1 minute per pretzel) - then they'll soften up again.
I hope you love these gluten free soft pretzels, I for one cannot stop making them! For more gluten free bread recipes, why not try some of these:
Enjoy! Laura xxx
*Below is my previous soft pretzels recipe, using the Juvela White Mix (part of a previous paid collaboration), for those of you who would still like to use this recipe.
1 Packet (500g) Juvela White Mix, 12g dried active yeast (included in sachet in White Mix box), 2 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp fine salt, 50g butter, melted, 230ml warm water, 1 tsp oil, 3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 large egg (for glazing) Your choice of toppings: sea salt/poppy seeds/black onion seeds/ sesame seeds
Tip the packet of Juvela White Mix and the sachet of yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and the sugar and stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter and the water, mixing initially with the wooden spoon then kneading the dough with your hands. It should result in a really smooth and pliable consistency, a bit like traditional bread dough, and not be too sticky. If it’s still a bit crumbly simply add a tiny bit more water.
Take a second, clean bowl and lightly oil the inside with the tsp oil. Transfer the dough ball into this bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour, until it has increased by about two thirds in size. Once the dough has risen, use a dough cutter or knife to cut into 8 even portions (quarter the dough then cut each quarter in half).
Take one piece at a time and squish the dough until smooth, then on a clean surface roll it into a long sausage shape (approx 30cm long). To shape the pretzel, place the sausage in a U shape, then turn the ends back towards you, crossing them over to create the pretzel shape (see images below). Press and pinch the dough together at the centre cross and the ends, to ensure the pretzel keeps it shape when boiled. Repeat with each dough portion until you have formed 8 pretzels.
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and line a large baking tray (or two) with lightly oiled non-stick baking paper. Fill a small saucepan with water and add the bicarbonate of soda. Bring to simmering point then carefully drop a pretzel into the water. After 20 seconds it will pop to the surface – immediately remove with a spatula or slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking tray. Repeat for all 8 pretzels.
Beat the large egg and then use a pastry brush to egg wash the pretzels. Sprinkle them with your topping of choice (salt or seeds), then place them into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until beautifully browned.Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. After 5 minutes they will firm up and you can enjoy them either while still warm or have them cold later. Like all fresh bread, these are best enjoyed on the day of baking.