No more longing for Auntie Anne’s style pretzels! The golden buttery flavor of these gluten free mall style pretzels will satisfy your craving 🥨
Oh my gawsh, ya’ll. You have GOT to make these pretzels!!!! I thought my days of eating soft pretzels were completely over. Boy was I wrong. AAAAANNNDDDD, these are SO easy to make there’s no excuse for not making them!! This recipe is for Kristen, one of my readers, who requested that I develop it because she missed being able to have those mall pretzels that she loved so much. So here’s to you, Kristen 🙂
I’ve always loved the texture of a soft pretzel, the way they have that distinctive chew. I love when you “rip” them apart and they kind of resist a little bit. Texture is such an important thing for me when it comes to food. I’m one of those weird people who don’t like onions. I can’t stand the flavor, but the main problem I have with them is the disgusting crunch. Yuck!! It makes me cringe just thinking about them. But these gluten free pretzels don’t make me cringe at all. In fact, they make me very happy! Happy with the texture, happy with the flavor, just happy, happy, happy, haha 🙂
How To Make Gluten Free Mall Style Pretzels
After mixing the dough, let it proof (rise) for the usual two hours and then you can use it right away. Yep, you read that right. It can be chilled for a few hours or overnight, but it’s actually not necessary because this dough is a pretty stiff dough.
Shaping the Pretzels
In researching how mall (specifically Auntie Anne’s) pretzels are made, I found a YouTube video from none other than Auntie Anne’s themselves. In the video, they roll out the dough into a long rope, hold it in the air with both hands and make it into a “U” shape. They give a flick of their wrists, twist it, and drop it down on the counter into a pretzel shape. I tried it and totally bombed! Not only did I not get the whole twisting thing right, the dough ripped. I decided to just lay the rope down on the counter into a “U” shape and lift up the ends, twist it twice, and lay the ends back down onto the bottom. Take you finger and dip it in a little water to “seal” the ends onto the bottom of the dough.
Boiling The Pretzels
Instead of boiling the pretzels like most recipes, Auntie Anne’s dips theirs in a water bath mixture to create that crust on the outside. I tried both ways and found the boiling method to be better suited for these gluten free mall style pretzels. Bring a heavy, wide pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add one tablespoon of molasses and two tablespoons of baking soda to the water. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, carefully add a few pretzels to the water and boil for about 20-30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon or spatula and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Baking The Pretzels
Once all the pretzels have been boiled, bake them at 450 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. They will have risen and will be golden brown and beautiful! Remove them from the oven and place on wire rack to cool.
I think what really distinguishes mall pretzels from an ordinary soft pretzel is dipping or brushing them with melted butter. You can leave them plain, but why would you? Any time butter is involved, I’m all in!! After they’ve cooled for a few minutes, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with a little sea salt or kosher salt.
Want a mall pretzel that’s gluten free? They don’t sell them, so you’ll just have to make this recipe. It’s easier than you’d think, but you’re gonna love these pretzels!!
Gluten Free Mall Style Pretzels
- 3 cups (420 g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- 1 ½ tsp xanthan gum (in addition to what's already in the blend)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 ½ tsp instant (fast acting) yeast
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of water and a dash of salt
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- kosher or sea salt to taste
- In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, brown sugar, and xanthan gum. Using dough hook, start mixer on low and slowly add water and melted butter. Turn speed up to medium and mix for about 5 minutes.
- Remove bowl from mixer and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to proof (rise) for 1-2 hours in warm, draft-free area.
- At this point, the dough can be chilled for a few hours or up to 7 days in the fridge, but does not need to be. This is a stiff dough and can be shaped on a well-floured surface without requiring refrigeration.
- Before shaping pretzels, begin boiling water in a large, wide pot (a Dutch oven is great for this). Also at this time, preheat your oven to 450°.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 pieces, roughly 3.5-4 ounces each. Roll one piece at a time into a rope about 25 inches long. Shape into a "U" shape on the counter. Twist ends twice and fold down onto bottom. Use finger dipped in a little water to "seal" ends to bottom of pretzel. Place pretzels on a parchment-lined or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
- Add molasses and baking soda to the boiling water. Carefully lower pretzels in boiling water mixture and boil for about 30 seconds. Flip and boil for another 30 seconds. Remove and place back onto the parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
- Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Brush each pretzel with melted butter.
45 thoughts on “Gluten Free Mall Style Pretzels”
Hi there from Romania! I was just wondering if I can use melted coconut butter instead of regular butter…or maybe sunflower oil? Thanks
I’m sure either of those would work great!
Any chance you can add the active yeast measurement on the recipe I .e. OR 3 1/3 tsp proofed active dry yeast? Also, I read conflicting answers as to whether to use sugar or not. Advice?
I created this recipe, so I’m not sure what your other “conflicting answers” mean. My recipe uses sugar, so if you don’t like using sugar, I guess you’d need to find another recipe. There are reasons for using sugar other than sweetness (feeding yeast in particular). I also use and recommend using instant yeast. You can always Google the measurements you need if you would like to stray from that. Sorry I can’t be of more help.
I loved these, but even though I made these the correct weight and size, I had to take them out after 10 minutes. They were very, very brown and the bottom was burnt. I was using a good, heavy weighted baking sheet so my next move is to check my oven temp. They would never have made it to the specified baking time – weird.
Otherwise they were great, definitely the best recipe I have come across so far!
Just made them! I missed soft pretzels. My dough was very sticky when I went to actually shape them so I had to add in flour. Weirdly, this also always happens to me when I make regular soft pretzels! They came out awesome and now going to make some gluten free beer cheese!
What temperature should the water be that goes into it? Doesn’t that affect the yeast? I have made both the pretzels and bagels, they were delicious, but didn’t get a grwat rise or proof.
When using instant yeast, it really doesn’t matter what the temperature of the water is. That’s more for active dry yeast. They won’t noticeably rise much, but will puff up when boiled and then baked even a little more.
Soft pretzels are what I miss most about being gluten free. This recipe is amazing! I made it for the first time today, and I’m in love!!
That’s wonderful, Dana! So glad you loved them 🙂
Dough was too dry to work with..had to add oil to it and still couldn’t shape pretzel without breaking.Made sticks out of dough and they turned out. Need to make modification to dough recipe.,
I’m sorry it was too dry for you, Karen. Did you use my flour blend? I’ve never had a problem with rolling it out or the dough breaking.
Can you make these without the extra xanthan gum? That’s the only ingredient I’m missing. Can’t wait to try them!
Yes!! You can use psyllium husk powder in place of it, or you can try to make them without anything extra. You may not get quite the same stretch as you would, but they’ll still taste terrific 🙂
I would really like to make these for my son but do not have a stand mixer, Kim do you think these can be made by hand? and how long do you think I should knead the dough for?
Kim, I only have dry active yeast right now. Can I use that? And is it 1:1 or does the measurement need to be adjusted?
Yes, you can! Here’s a link to a great article on how to do just that: https://www.thespruceeats.com/baking-yeast-dry-and-fresh-yeast-measurements-1446706 🙂
I think I did something wrong! The dough did not rise at all and it’s just about to come out of the fridge now and it is crumbling. Any ideas? I followed the recipe SO closely!
Hmmm. The first thing I’d ask is were there any substitutions for any of the flours within the bread flour blend? Sometimes if you use something other than what I recommend, it won’t work or you may need to add more liquid. You might be able to salvage it by putting it back on the mixer and adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup more liquid and mixing it again until it comes together.
Can I freeze them? So excited!
Yes, you can! Just wrap them up individually and store them in a ziptop freezer bag. Reheat them in a 350 degree F oven for about 5-6 minutes.
I’ll have to try these sometime!
These were delicious! Although the dough was too dry to roll at all. I used Namaste Gf Flour Blend. My daughters and I just made pretzel bites instead – they were beyond tasty.
I’m so glad you liked the pretzels, Coral! Thanks for the comment!!
In the future, if you want to be able to roll the dough, using my flour blend as recommended will allow just that. It won’t be too dry at all. I understand right now it may be hard to get the different flours required to make my blend, but once we are beyond all of this and we’re able to shop like normal, I promise if you can make my flour blend you’ll be surprised at just how easy the dough is to roll out 😊
Thank you for this recipe. We make pretzels every Lent and these are the best gf pretzels we have ever made! We said a prayer of gratitude for you. You have blessed us! Hope you and your family are well.
Aww, thank you so much!!! I’m so happy you and your family really like the pretzels 🙂
We are hanging in there, and I hope you all are doing well also. Please stay safe and God bless you!!
We made these last night for the Super Bowl and they were delicious!!! The whole family approved and raved about them! Thank you for a wonderful gluten free & egg free recipe.
You are so welcome, Nicole!! I’m so glad your family loved them 🙂
In a pinch could I boil these without the molasses? I am craving soft pretzels so bad but I am out of molasses. Thanks, can’t wait to try these!!
Sure! It just adds a little more color to the pretzels and a little flavor, but I think they’ll still be great without it 🙂
I made this into pretzel rolls and they were so delicious!
Yay!! That’s a clever thing to do. I need to try that!
Kelly, how did you make these into pretzel rolls? I’ve been looking for a recipe, and was thinking I could use this one…but just want to know what you did, temp, and how long you baked for, etc.
I’m wondering the same! I was just scrolling the comments to see if anyone had successfully made pretzel buns. I’d love any advice!
Turned out great! Halved the recipe so we wouldn’t eat too many in one sitting and dipped in nacho cheese sauce. Amazing!! Thank you for another successful gluten free recipe!
You are so welcome!! I’m so glad you liked them as much as I did 🙂 I wish I had nacho cheese to dip them in when I made them, so I’ll have to make them again soon just for that reason 😉
YES … THIS! I was just saying to my SO how much I missed the big soft pretzels! Now I know what I’m doing today = ) Do you think this recipe could be made up to the point of boiling the pretzels and then frozen to bake later? I’m afraid if I made a whole batch of them I’d eat them all … not that that’s a bad thing. Thank you for creating this recipe and thank you Kristen for asking about it!
They are so, so good!! I’m actually not sure about the boiling and then freezing, but what you could do is make the dough to the point of refrigerating it and when you’re ready, boil a little bit of water and maybe half or 1/3 the amount of molasses and baking soda and shape and boil just one pretzel and freeze it. Then you wouldn’t have to waste the whole batch if it didn’t turn out. Another option is shaping them all and freezing them. Then when you’re ready to boil, thaw them on a baking sheet and boil and bake per the recipe. Let me know either way 🙂
Those look absolutely amazing!
Absolutely delicious. We used the pea protien to make your bread flour . Works wonderfully. Love your recipes ❤️ Thank you , Thank you , Thank you . You made my 15 year old newly gluten free happy 😊
Awe, that’s awesome!!! It’s my pleasure and I’m so glad y’all liked them 😍
Have you continued to to have success with the pea protein? Which one do you use? Besides gluten, I also have a dairy and soy allergy. I’ve been using this one that was recommended. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B06X92NGVM?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title But sometimes the recipes come out super gummy. Has that happened to you before?
I am trying this recipe for the first time. This is the first gluten free recipe I’ve done in about 15 years . I am excited to have it finished later today and will share results. I want to thank you Kim for all the hard work you go to in developing recipes and sharing them with us. You are great.