Auntie Anne’s-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

Auntie Anne’s-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

Auntie Anne's-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels - with Sweet Mustard Dipping SauceThis recipe, for Auntie Anne’s-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels (with sweet mustard dipping sauce!), is for those of us who are tempted to “cheat” and stand in that line at the mall and have one gluteny soft pretzel I mean come on how bad can it be. Don’t do it!

I used the recipe for Pretzel Rolls from page 153 of GFOAS Bakes Bread with a few modifications, all in the name of science—and indulgence (more butter! more brown sugar! milk instead of water!).

But you could still use the blog recipe for soft pretzels. As with all my old bread recipes, they don’t know that we’ve had a revolution. They still work. :)

Auntie Anne's-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels - with Sweet Mustard Dipping Sauce

I haven’t had an Auntie Anne’s pretzel in the mall in, like, 100 years. But Auntie Anne’s pretzels are like Cinnabon. You can’t help but get something of a contact high if you set foot in a mall that sells them.

That buttery, salty goodness just … lives there permanently. Just ask the tired parents waiting in line at that pretzel counter on any given Saturday in America. You can’t escape it. Well, when you’re gluten free, clearly you must escape it.

Auntie Anne's-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels - with Sweet Mustard Dipping Sauce

Boiling the pretzels in a baking soda bath, like boiling bagels, is what gives them that chewy exterior. They wrinkle up, but don’t worry! They plump right up when you bake them.

Auntie Anne’s pretzels are thinner than I made mine, but I found that when I rolled them super super thin, they had a bit of a hard time keeping their shape when I boiled them. Who knows what kind of black magic those Auntie Anne’s people do with their super skinny pretzels.

Auntie Anne's-Style Gluten Free Soft Pretzels - with Sweet Mustard Dipping Sauce

Oh, and be sure to read the note in the recipe ingredients about sprinkling with salt. Sprinkling soft pretzels with salt before baking draws water out of the pretzels as they cool.

So if you don’t plan to eat all the pretzels right away, consider holding the salt sprinkle until later. I explain it all below. And don’t skimp on that dipping sauce. It’s half the fun!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 7 large pretzels


1 recipe Gluten Free Soft Pretzel Dough (I used the Pretzel Rolls dough from page 153 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, but the Pretzel Rolls from the blog would work fine, too), prepared according to each recipe’s instructions, but made with the following adjustments:

  • In the book recipe:
    1. Reduce the amount of Gluten Free Bread Flour to 3 cups (420 g) from 3 1/4 cups (490 g).
    2. Eliminate the nonfat dry milk.
    3. Increase the packed light brown sugar to 1/4 cup (55 g).
    4. Increase the butter in the dough to 5 tablespoons.
    5. Replace the warm water with 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F).
  • In the blog recipe:
    1. Increase the packed light brown sugar to 1/4 cup (55 g).
    2. Increase the butter in the dough to 4 tablespoons.
    3. Replace the warm water with an equal amount (1 1/2 cups) of warm milk.

Baking soda bath for boiling (6 cups water plus 1 tablespoon baking soda plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, brought to a rolling boil over medium-high heat)

Melted unsalted butter, for brushing

Coarse salt, for sprinkling*

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)

*NOTE about salt: If you don’t plan to serve all of the pretzels immediately after baking, consider baking without the coarse salt entirely, or with a very light sprinkling of it. Salt on the top of bread draws moisture out of the bread and causes it to go stale more quickly. If you do eliminate the salt (or most of it) during baking, simply brush the pretzels with more melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt before serving.


  • On baking day, line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, grease it lightly with cooking oil spray, and set it aside.

  • If using the pretzel dough from page 153 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smoother as directed in These General Shaping Tips. Divide the dough into 7 equal portions, each about 4 ounces, and roll each into a ball as illustrated in this gluten free bread shaping video. Roll each piece of dough (pressing down and out with your palms) into a thin rope about 12 inches long. Shape into a pretzel by turning both ends of the rope inward toward one another, criss-crossing them once, and then crossing one end over another in an X. Tuck the ends of the X behind the bottom of the pretzel shape and press gently but firmly to seal. Place each piece of shaped dough on the prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart from one another. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free location to rise until nearly doubled in size (about 40 minutes).

  • To make the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and whisk to combine well. The dry mustard powder really gives the sauce a nice depth of flavor, but it is entirely optional. Set the sauce aside.

  • As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat your oven to 375°F. In a large pot, make the baking soda bath by dissolving the baking soda and salt in approximately 6 cups of water, and bringing it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once the dough has finished rising, place the pretzels a few at a time in the boiling baking soda bath for just under a minute per side. If the ends of the pretzel begin to separate from the rounded bottom, don’t worry. We’re still on track. Remove the pretzels with a strainer and return them to the baking sheet. Brush generously with the melted butter, sprinkle with coarse salt, and place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown all over (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and brush once again generously with the melted butter and allow to cool on the pan briefly. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.



P.S. If you haven’t gotten your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, won’t you grab one today? Your support means so much! :)

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Comments are closed.

  • […] Soft pretzels. […]

  • amaliachimera
    March 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    One thing I am confused about is the rising time. In the book, the dough has to rise for at least 12 hours. In this recipe, the time mentioned is 40 minutes. Does this mean that there is a double rising time, or is it just the 40 minute time only?

    • April 4, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      The recipe instructions begin “on baking day,” amaliachimera. That means that the first rise, before shaping, has already occurred. The second rise is always after shaping. That is what is 40 minutes.

  • March 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    I made these today using the pretzel roll (blog) recipe…(I do have the book but didn’t wan to wait for the refrigerator rise)…everything looked great until the baking soda bath. Then they fell apart. I’m still baking them anyway (in the oven now), but for future reference I’m wondering if it’s because I used the roll recipe? Or should I have chilled the dough first after the rise since I used this recipe instead of the book recipe? I’d really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks Nicole! :)

    • March 30, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      I’d reaaaaaaally recommend you use the recipe from the new book next time, Renee! Not because the other recipe doesn’t work, but because it’s just so much better and the dough is just much easier to handle. Gluten free bread made the “old” way is never, ever going to be easy to handle. That being said, my first guess is that you overproofed the dough. It becomes quite fragile then. And that would be the result with any bread dough—gluten free or not, “old” way or “new” way. Hope that helps!

  • mrsprego
    March 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    This sounds amazing, but it’s pretty much just a plug for your book… Kind of annoying. Either share the recipe or don’t. It’s actually a turn-off from buying your book.

    • March 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Actually, I was careful to explain how to use either the recipe in the book, or the recipe for pretzel rolls on the blog, mrsprego. I wouldn’t post the recipe if only those who had the book could make it. I think your comment is unfair, but you are of course entitled to your opinion.

      • mrsprego
        March 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        I apologize, I read it wrong and didn’t notice the blog recipe :)

      • March 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        Thank you so much for responding with grace. That doesn’t happen a whole lot these days. Bygones… :)

  • Michael Kosak
    March 27, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    this would make an awesome bagel for nice salmon and cream cheese sandwich

  • Heidi
    March 27, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    I’ve been craving these, they look amazing! ! and I’m so tempted to just go get an original one at the pretzel maker!! Is there an ebook somewhere? I wanted to make these today..

    • March 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      You can purchase my bread book in ebook form here, Heidi. Or you could use the blog recipe for pretzel rolls as explained in the ingredients section of the recipe.

  • Jennifer S.
    March 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    I also dearly miss these guys. Have been tempted SOOOO many times to just go get one. My kids will be thrilled to have them again!!! I <3 U!

  • Julie
    March 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Any idea how to adapt them to the Sweet Almond version? That one was my favorite.

    • March 27, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      The pretzels would be basically the same, Julie. I haven’t given much though to the topping, though. Sorry!

  • Dawn Strandburg
    March 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    I just want to say thank you!I have your new book which I love!and gluten free on a shoestring quick and easy.I love them and your blog recipes.They always come out awesome.My family LOVES your starbuck’s style oatmeal cookies among others.I can’t wait to try these pretzels!

    • March 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Dawn! That means so much to me. I love those cookies, too. I have way too many baked goods in the house to make more of those any time soon, but I think about it all the time! :)

  • Allison Tyler
    March 27, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Oh my goodness! I miss Annie’s Cinnamon Sugar butter bombs so much! Now I can make them and taste them again. THANK YOU!

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