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Pretzel Rolls

Pretzel Rolls

Of all the gluten free bread there is, even though I can’t choose a total fave, these gluten free pretzel rolls are, well, up there. With my favorites. There’s something about that salty sweetness, the fluffy inside with the crisp yet chewy outside…

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Why would anyone call these “bretzels”? Pretzel is a perfectly fine name. Some days, I worry that I haven’t a clue. Other days … I’m resigned to it. It’s okay. It’s kind of peaceful.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

UPDATE: Come see how to make this dough into Pretzel Bite Snacks!

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel RollsThese rolls are so nice and crunchy-chewy on the outside, tender and almost tangy-sweet on the inside. Maybe spring for some good coarse salt to sprinkle on top. They make great sandwiches, too. They’re multi-taskers! Like you. I bet you multi-task with the best of them.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

This gluten free bread dough is particularly wet…

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

…until you add a bit more flour, and it, well, it’s still kinda wet, but a bit more solid.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Divide it into roll-like portions, and dust them with flour.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Roll each into a ball, then flatten a bit into a disk. And set them to rise.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Look at that rise. Seriously. Smooth and lovely little dough babies.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Then boil in a baking soda bath.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Slice the top and sprinkle with coarse salt. Et voilà.

Gluten Free Bread: Soft Pretzel Rolls

Here are all the details:

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 to 8 rolls


3 1/4 cups (455g) all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more by the tablespoon

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

Scant 1/2 cup (43g) cultured buttermilk blend powder (I use Saco brand) (you can substitute 1/3 cup (43g) whey powder or the same amount dry milk powder by weight)

3 teaspoons instant (breadmaker or rapid-rise) yeast

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon (13g) packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 egg whites (60 g), at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water (about 95 degrees)

Baking soda bath for boiling (6 cups water + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon salt)

Cornstarch wash (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/2 cup water mixed into a slurry) (optional – helps rolls to crisp)

Coarse salt for sprinkling


  • Place the flour, xanthan gum, buttermilk powder, yeast, cream of tartar, baking soda and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk to combine well with a handheld whisk. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine well. Add the cider vinegar, butter and egg whites, and mix to combine well. With the mixer on low speed, add the water in a slow but steady stream. Once you have added all the water, turn the mixer up to high and let it work for about 3 minutes. The dough will be wet. With the mixer on low speed, add more flour by the tablespoon, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl in spots. It should still be relatively wet, but not so wet that parts of it don’t hold together.

  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Dust the top with flour, and divide into 6 to 8 portions, depending upon how large you’d like the rolls to be. Dust each of the portions of dough lightly with flour so you can handle them. Form each into a ball, and then press the ball down gently into a disk (see photo). Place a couple inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free environment and allow to rise until just about doubled in volume (around 40 minutes).

  • While the dough is nearing the end of its rise, preheat your oven to 375°F and place the baking soda bath in a large heavy-bottom pot on the stovetop to boil over high heat. Once the dough is done rising, place the rolls a few at a time into the boiling baking soda bath for less than a minute per side. Remove the rolls with a strainer and return them to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the rolls with the cornstarch wash and score 3 to 4 parallel lines with a sharp knife in the top of each roll (for puffier rolls, slice more shallow; for chewier rolls, slice deeper). Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste. Place the rolls in the center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan before serving.

  • Freeze leftover rolls and defrost in the refrigerator overnight.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! With your help, I’ll get my future grandchildren to keep the blog going forever and ever.

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

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  • Jen Torbeck Merrill on Facebook

    Ooh! Think they freeze ok after baking?

  • Cannot wait to make these!! Thank you!

  • Wanda Starr on Facebook

    Mmmm….I can hardly wait to try these!

  • Gina Cunetta Barbara on Facebook


  • Michelle Dunton Olejar on Facebook

    Seriously? Do you have a tap into my mind Nicole? I think, you provide. I am loving it! Just two days ago I thought to myself “a gluten free pretzel roll would be awesome. I wonder if anyone has thought of that?” :)

  • Joleen

    Before going GFree, we would eat pretzel buns regularly, they were becoming more available I found. We have missed them soooo much – a million thank yous to you! These will be a nice surprise for my husband and my kids… who am I kidding – me too!

    • Hi, Joleen,
      You’re so welcome. I think it should be first for you… and then for them. You gotta take care of #1! I’m so happy I could help bring you back. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Nancy Derby on Facebook

    Hope to have time this weekend to try making these beauties :-)

  • Pamela G

    GREAAAAYYYYTTTTT…..my stomach was growling before, but now it’s ROARING….
    cannot wait to try these!!! :)

    • Luckily, Pam, they can be all yours. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Karen

    A batch is in the oven. Can’t wait to see how they turn out! Kind of felt weird putting them in the baking soda bath :)

    • That’s great, Karen! So glad you were able to spring right into action. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Karen

        How could I not – they were so so tempting :) Just pulled them out and they look great. Will have to have my German friend over for coffee and pretzel rolls! She will be so excited.

        • So glad, Karen!
          xoxo Nicole

  • I think a soup or dip recipe to go with these is in order!

  • hum…mini pretzel buns for little pulled pork sliders? I know what I’m making on Saturday!

    • That sounds perfect, Stephanie!
      xoxo Nicole

  • I’m moving this weekend but as soon as my kitchen is straight, these will be the first thing I bake! Yum!

  • OH, I just LOVE these…When I lived in Switzerland, I could buy pretzel dough rolls called “Silzerli” or something like that…and in Germany they were called Laugenbrötchen. These are the best…and I love the salt on top :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • Oooh that sounds exciting, Heather. Swiss pretzel rolls. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Do you ever use a bread machine? I got one for Christmas and love love it. I get a MUCH better rise from it than I’ve ever been able to since going GF. But I am still finding my breads to be rather dense.

    These looks amazing- so making them this weekend!

  • Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Roundup – January 29, 2012 « Celiac Kitchen Witch()

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