Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Bites: perfect for everyone in the crowd

Be honest. Are there certain foods that you think to yourself, “There’s no way these could ever be made gluten-free and still taste good.”

Of course; we all have. For many of us, it’s easy to be skeptical of gluten-free baked goods because they’re unfamiliar (and sometimes behave quite strangely as they’re coming together in the baking process).

But it’s in these moments of doubt that we put our heads together and come up with a way for you to enjoy the baked goods you love, regardless of whether you eat gluten or not.

And these gluten-free soft pretzel bites are a perfect example.

Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Bites via @kingarthurflour

The traditional recipe uses gluten to produce a chewy texture and a soft crumb. And though it might seem impossible to recreate them, this recipe nails it. They’re exactly like their gluten-full friends – AND we discovered they can also be easily made dairy-free as well.

Plus, they make a pretty awesome appetizer or snack, especially when you’re lounging around at home or having friends over to watch a big game. Dunk one of these little bites into some mustard and you’re golden.

And we’ll let you in on a little secret: we actually start with our gluten-free soft pretzel recipe and just cut the dough into “bites” rather than twisting them into pretzels. We know you’re just going to love how easy these pretzel bites are to make!

So… who’s ready to dive in?
How to make gluten-free soft pretzel bites via @kingarthurflour

To get started, combine the following in the bowl of your stand mixer:

3 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons soft butter (vegan butter also works)

Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment and stir until a firm dough forms, about 4 minutes. If the dough seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Scrape the sides of the bowl and transfer the dough to a floured work surface.

How to make gluten-free soft pretzel bites via @kingarthurflour

Knead the dough until smooth, then transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, 45 to 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.

How to make gluten-free soft pretzel bites via @kingarthurflourTurn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate it, and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Cover the pieces and, one at a time, roll them into 12″ to 14″ ropes.

Cut each rope in 1″ to 1 1/2″ pieces using a bench knife or paring knife. Smooth the ends so they’re shaped like small pillows. Place the bites on the prepared pans.

How to make gluten-free soft pretzel bites via @kingarthurflour

Add the 1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar to the boiling water and wait for the foam to subside. 

Drop 12 to 15 bites into the water, and boil them for about 5 seconds; they should initially sink, then float to the surface. Remove the bites from the water with a slotted spoon and return them to the pans. Sprinkle them with the coarse salt or flavorings of choice and repeat until all the bites are done.

Bake the pretzel bites until golden brown and finished to your liking, about 12 to 15 minutes for soft pretzels, 2 to 3 minutes longer for harder ones.

Allow the pretzels to cool on the pans for 10 minutes before serving.

Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Bites via @kingarthurflour

Serve with your dip of choice! We love them with plain mustard OR you can feel free to choose from any of these scrumptious options:

Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Bites via @kingarthurflour

Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Bites via @kingarthurflour

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Soft Pretzels (in bite form!).

Print just the recipe.

Alyssa Rimmer
About

Alyssa grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont and now lives in New York City, where she bakes and writes recipes for her blog Simply Quinoa. She's been living gluten-free for over four years. Alyssa also authors her own food blog and enjoys ...

comments

  1. Joi

    Thank you SO much for the attention and respect you give those of us who have to eat gluten free. You are far ahead of most companies and websites and I appreciate it greatly. As soon as I get a new stand mixer I’ll try these (I recently wore mine out!)

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Try shaping, cover and store in the frig for a few hours where they will rise, just more slowly. You should be able to drop them into the boiling water straight from the frig. Elisabeth@KAF

    1. Shalryn

      As a rule, a liquid doesn’t replace a solid in bread-type recipes. Perhaps shortening or coconut oil (which is not a liquid at room temp) would be better options.

  2. Karibeth S.

    Would an egg substitute work for this recipe? I have an allergy and a hankering for these pretzels !
    Thanks☺️

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Karibeth, we haven’t tried this recipe with an egg replacement, but go ahead and give it a go, it should be fine. Bryanna@KAF

  3. eleanorgrace

    What is the best way to store these? They were wonderful fresh out, but the next day they seem tough and not as tasty.

    Reply
  4. Jennifer G.

    Thanks so much for this recipe, Alyssa! I miss soft pretzels so much and am definitely going to try your recipe!

    Reply
  5. Elaine

    Would this recipe also work if I substituted the GF all purpose baking mix for the GF flour, and omitted the xanthan gum? I have a lot of mix right now.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We have not tried that, so can’t really say. There are other leavening agents in the mix, so this may pose a problem. But, if you would like to try, please do and let us know how it goes! Elisabeth@KAF

  6. Kathy Richardson

    Is there a way to modify this recipe for Gluten Free Pretzel Buns as they are all the rage for sandwiches and burgers now?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Our test kitchen has not modified our recipe for this application. You may find a tested GF Pretzel Roll on the internet. Sorry we could not help you with your request. We hope you find one. Happy Baking! JoAnn@KAF

  7. Doris K

    This recipe can make pretzel buns as well as the soft pretzels and bites. To make Pretzel Buns: Form dough into a ball. Boil in baking soda bath 1 minute. Brush with an eg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Cut an “X” on top of the bun before baking. Bake 20 minutes until dark golden brown.

    Reply
  8. RJ

    Fran asks “How far in advance can you shape the pretzels before the water boil?” The Baker’s Hotline replies, “Try shaping, cover and store in the frig for a few hours where they will rise, just more slowly. You should be able to drop them into the boiling water straight from the frig. Elisabeth@KAF” This seems to indicate that you let the pretzels rise after shaping and yet the recipe doesn’t state to do so. Are they supposed to rise after shaping?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      RJ, you’re correct that the recipe does not call for allowing the pretzels to rise before placing them in the boiling water. With regular pretzels you can delay a bit by refrigerating the pretzels before boiling, but we haven’t actually tried this with this gluten-free recipe. It may work, but for best results I would recommend following the recipe and boiling and baking immediately. Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Irene, the pretzel bath actually calls for baking soda, not baking powder. Food grade lye is traditionally used for dunking pretzels, but it’s tricky to work with, so I would recommend sticking with baking soda. You could leave it out and just use sugar water for the bath, but you won’t get the same rich pretzel color. Barb@KAF

  9. Ann in San Diego

    Do not substitute gf multi grain flour… Or forget to add the baking soda/sugar to the boiling water…. Or you too could have an amazing flop! Next time I will run out and get the right flour, but discovered I was out so used my King Arthur gf multi grain flour. When the dough was too soft I ignored my instincts and proceeded anyway. Of course dough was too soft and sticky so roll so I just dumped blobs in the boiling water. When both trays were finished boiling and in the oven I noticed the baking soda/sugar mixture right next to the pot of water [cleverly places there by ME so I wouldn’t forget it]. Well, I had a few reject dough shapes left, so thought I would give it a whirl. Warning! Do not dump the entire soda mixture in all of a sudden! It boiled right up and over the edges and onto my brand new wolf range top (installed 6 days ago). Fortunately the husband was not home!
    I hope you all got a chuckle out of my experience. It was pretty funny in the long run. My daughter is on her way over with the kids. They think everything I bake is amazing, so perhaps they won’t notice!
    I pledge to report on my success once I replenish the all purpose gf flour.

    Reply
  10. JOHN titcombe

    Is it OK to use quick-rising yeast.I can’t seem to find instant yeast at my grocers.Help!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Quick-Rise yeast is an instant yeast and you may used in this recipe. Just stay away from Rapid Rise yeast. It is only good for one good rise. Have fun! Elisabeth@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so sorry to hear you were burned when making this recipe. We recommend being very careful when moving pans and other kitchen utensils that could be hot from the oven. It’s great that you enjoyed the pretzel bites, though. Hopefully the next batch will be painless and delicious! Kye@KAF

  11. Jo

    These turned out so well! My husband was so excited to have soft pretzels! I was a little intimidated while reading the recipe, but once I started working, I realized it was not stressful, but actually fun! They are delicious! Thanks for the great recipe. King Arthur Flour has not disappointed!

    Reply
  12. Jessica

    I have loads rice flours, tapioca strarch, potato starch, etc on hand because I blend my own gf flour. I would like to use what I have in my kitchen to make these. Can you recommend a break down of flours/starches (with weights in ounces) that I can use to duplicate this recipe without running to the store?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jessica, we have a recipe for a homemade, Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Blend on our site that you might use as a guide for creating your own, comparable blend. While we haven’t used it in this specific recipe, we have successfully used in place of our Gluten-Free Flour in many other recipes and hope it helps. Mollie@KAF

    2. Jessica

      Thank you. I can report that these pretzels were perfect for my super bowl party this evening. I used the gluten free flour blend you suggested (measured to the gram) and followed the recipe to the letter. They were perfect. I haven’t had a soft pretzel in four years, and these are lovely. Even the gluten-eating guests commented they would have never known they were gluten free, but surmised they were since I have a celiac safe kitchen.

  13. Diane

    Before I went gluten-free, I used to love the soft pretzel bites with sugar and cinnamon that you find at the pretzel shop at the local mall. I have never made pretzels/pretzel bites before, so, although this sounds like a ridiculous question, is it possible to make them with this recipe? Is it just a matter of rolling them in a cinnamon/sugar mixture before baking?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’ve got it, Diane! Instead of sprinkling the pretzels with coarse salt, sprinkle with your own blend of cinnamon-sugar. Bake as directed, and before you know it, you’ll have delicious, cinnamon-sugar pretzel bites coming out of your oven! Kye@KAF

  14. Destinee

    I just wanted to thank you for this recipe. We found out a couple years ago that our oldest son has Celiac Disease. He missed things like pretzels, and being only seven, has a hard time understanding why he can no longer eat the things he used to love. Thank you for helping me give him back a little bit of normalcy!

    Reply

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