For the soft pretzels
3 cups (420 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) tapioca starch/flour
1/2 cup (43 g) Saco cultured buttermilk blend powder
1 tablespoon (9 g) instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 egg whites (50 g), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (13 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)
Baking soda bath for boiling (6 cups water + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon salt)
Coarse salt for sprinkling
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
Coarse salt, for sprinkling*
For the sweet mustard dipping sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
First, make the bread dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, buttermilk powder, yeast, cream of tartar, baking soda, and brown sugar, and whisk to combine well, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine. Add the apple cider vinegar, butter, egg whites, and milk, and mix to combine well. Turn the mixer speed up to medium-high and then high speed and beat until the dough almost seems whipped. The dough should pull away easily from the sides of the bowl when you use a silicone spatula to scrape it down.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to nearly double its size. Spray the top of the dough very lightly with cooking oil spray. Cover the bowl very tightly with an oiled piece of plastic wrap or the oiled top of your proofing bucket. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
When the dough is ready, line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle it lightly with a bit more flour, and turn it over on itself a few times until it’s smoother. Using a bench scraper or large knife, divide the dough into 8 equal portions, each just under 4 ounces, and roll each into a ball. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into a thin rope about 12 inches long, pressing down and out with your palms and sprinkling lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Create an upside-down U shape with the dough, and cross the two ends over one another into an X shape about 3 inches away from each end. Grab each crossed end with the opposite hand, criss-cross them once, then turn them over onto the round end of the original U shape. Press the ends onto the round end to adhere. You can moisten the ends a bit to help them stick as they rise. Transfer the shaped pretzels to the prepared baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart from one another. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free location to rise until just beginning to swell (about 30 minutes). Do not overproof.
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 400°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 less than one minute total. Rather than flipping the pretzels to boil on both sides, press gently on the top of each pretzel to immerse the top in the water. 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 15 minutes). Remove from the oven serve warm with the dipping sauce.
Originally published on the blog in 2014. Recipe simplified, method largely unchanged, photos mostly new, video new.