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 Soft Pretzels
- 3 cups (420g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- 1½ tsp xanthan gum (in addition to what's already in the blend)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2½ tsp (8g) instant (fast acting) yeast
- 2 tbsp (25g) packed brown sugar
- 1¼ cups (300ml) water
- 2 tbsp (28g) butter, melted
- ¼ cup (68g) baking soda, regular or baked (see notes for how to "bake" baking soda to make it more alkaline)
- 2 tbsp (25g) brown sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of water and a dash of salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) butter, melted (if desired)
- kosher or sea salt to taste
- In the bowl of stand mixer, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, brown sugar, and xanthan gum. Using the 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 425° F.
- 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. Press ends firmly into bottom portion of pretzels so they will stick. Place pretzels on a lightly greased parchment-lined or silicone mat-lined baking sheet (pretzels may stick to the parchment if not greased).
- Add brown sugar and baking soda to the boiling water. Carefully lower pretzels in boiling water mixture and boil for about 30 seconds. Use a spoon to carefully spoon water over tops of pretzels, which will eliminate the need to flip the pretzels over. 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 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Brush each pretzel with melted butter, if desired.