Learn how to make the easiest gluten free soft pretzels that are so soft and plush, you’d never know they’re gluten free. Simple ingredients and no bread machine needed!

gluten free soft pretzels on parchment paper

Why this is the only gluten free pretzel recipe you need:

If you’re craving a good pretzel but are gluten free (and perhaps vegan, dairy free, and egg-free), then you need to try these gluten free soft pretzels. In fact, even if you aren’t gluten free, you need to try this recipe.

They’re honestly just as amazing as my classic vegan soft pretzels. Unbelievably gluten-free.

Why? Because this gluten-free soft pretzel recipe is unbelievably soft, chewy, plush, and deliciously pretzel-y. No grittiness, and both the dough and the finished pretzel look and feel like classic dough. 

It’s quite amazing. The secret? Psyllium husk powder. But more on that below! Don’t worry- it’s actually quite easy to get (and can be used in tons of gluten free bread recipes). The other ingredients are very simple.

gluten free soft pretzels on parchment paper

These gluten free soft pretzels are perfectly saltyeasy to make, naturally vegan, nut-free, and corn-free, and quicker than making classic soft pretzels!

Like my vegan gluten free focaccia bread, gluten free sandwich bread, and gluten free pizza dough, this is a vegan gluten-free recipe that will become a staple recipe in your household. 

You are just going to LOVE these gluten free soft pretzels, whether or not you’re gluten free (or vegan!). And trust me, you won’t miss the mall version!

What ingredients do I need?

As I mentioned above, the gluten-free ingredients that you need are probably familiar if you’re a seasoned gluten-free baker. But if you’re not- don’t worry! We’ll go over them here!

The beauty about this recipe is that you don’t need a specific gluten-free flour blend. We’ll be taking just two flours and blending them together for our own mix. 

Here’s what you need:

  • Tapioca starch: Also called tapioca flour, they’re one in the same. This helps to give our gluten free pretzels that chewy texture that we all know and love! It also helps to bind our ingredients together and maintain a soft texture. We’re also able to omit any additional corn starch or arrowroot starch because of the tapioca.
  • Millet flour: The next flour I chose, millet flour is wonderful for making a soft texture in gluten-free breads. It’s a gluten-free flour that I always have on hand. See below for possible substitutions!
  • Psyllium husk: This amazing fiber is what helps to give our gluten-free soft pretzels they’re bread-like texture! We’re able to completely omit any xanthan gum (yes, these gluten free pretzels are made without xanthan gum!) because of it. I use the powdered psyllium husk because I think it achieves a better bread in the end. If you use the rough husk form, you’ll need less.
  • Quick rise yeast: This recipe is specifically designed for quick rise yeast. Please do not use active dry yeast! The method is not designed for it, and your dough will take forever to rise.
  • Maple syrup: To activate our yeast.
  • Warm water: To provide an ideal environment for our yeast to grow!
  • Apple cider vinegar: This helps to stabilize the air bubbles in our dough so that it has a more bread-like texture.
  • Baking soda: This actually doesn’t go into the dough, but is instead used to create the baking soda bath that we’ll soak our pretzels in! More on that below.
  • Sea salt: I used finely ground sea salt for the dough, along with big flaked sea salt for the top of the pretzels.
gluten free pretzels on parchment paper

Equipment needed:

I recommend using a stand mixer with mixing bowl and dough hook. However, you can also use just a large bowl with a wooden spoon. The only difference is that the by-hand method will take a bit more work.

You’ll still yield fluffy and lovely gluten free soft pretzels!

Additional equipment recommendations are:

  • Pastry cutter or large kitchen knife (to divide the dough)
  • Kitchen scale (crucial for measuring gluten-free ingredients)
  • Ruler (to measure how long the rope is of the dough for making the pretzels!)
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large pot (for boiling the pretzels)

The key to pretzels: Baking soda bath

Pretzel dough in general is actually quite similar to bagel dough. The method is even similar in that we’re boiling the dough in both recipes. However, the difference is that with pretzels, we add baking soda to the water.

Boiling the pretzels gives them their chewy texture (yes, even for gluten free ones!). Baking soda is what gives pretzels their classic pretzel flavor. Without it, you’ll have pretzel-shaped bagels (still delicious, but not pretzels!).

Adding baking soda to the boiling water creates an alkaline solution, which in turn adds the distinct flavor of pretzels to our gluten free pretzels, as well as giving them their dark brown coloring. 

vegan gluten free soft pretzel

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions:

  • Tapioca starch: Again, this is sometimes labelled as tapioca flour. They are one in the same. There is no substitution for this, but just so you know there are two different names it goes by, and both are fine!
  • Millet flour: I recommend NOT swapping this out, but if you must, oat flour and sorghum flour will work similarly. Not quite the same, but it is possible.
  • Psyllium husk: This you CANNOT swap out, even for xanthan gum. It acts completely different in the process of making the dough, so you won’t be able to follow the instructions as written if you were to swap it out. I order Kate’s Natural psyllium husk powder from Amazon- that’s my favorite!
  • Maple syrup: You can also swap in granulated sugar (use organic for vegan) or light brown sugar (for a more molasses flavor!).

Overview: How to make gluten free vegan soft pretzels step by step:

Start by measuring and weighing all of your ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. I simply place the bowl onto the kitchen scale and weigh the dry ingredients, followed by whisking them together. Then add in the wet ingredients, and mix the dough on medium speed using a dough hook. 

The dough will come together much like a regular pretzel dough!

gluten free pretzel dough in a bowl

Next, we’ll immediately shape our pretzels (no need to rise the dough yet). Follow the diagram below, but essentially you’ll divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Take one piece of dough and roll it into an 18″ long rope. Cross the two ends once over then twice over to create a twist. Then fold the twist down to create your pretzel shape.

Repeat for the remaining 5 pieces of dough.

how to shape pretzel dough

Next, you’ll proof the pretzels until doubled in size. While the dough is proofing (about 30 minutes), bring a large pot of water to a boil with the baking soda in it. Once proofed, add 1-2 pretzels to the pot while it’s boiling. Only boil the pretzels for 20-25 seconds. Otherwise they’ll taste too much like baking soda. 

Then, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake the pretzels until browned. 

gluten free pretzels before and after baking

Once baked, you can enjoy your gluten free soft pretzels and dip them into mustard sauce, or a homemade vegan cheese sauce!

Gluten Free Pretzel Topping Ideas:

If you want to go beyond just the classic gluten free soft pretzel, you can jazz it up after boiling the dough and before baking with a few different topping ideas! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Vegan cheddar cheese or jack cheese
  • Garlic and (vegan) butter
  • Garlic and onion
  • Everything bagel seasoning

Simpler topping ideas include just brushing with vegan melted butter and sprinkling sesame seeds on top!

vegan gluten free soft pretzels ripped apart

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

gluten free pretzel Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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gluten free soft pretzels on parchment paper

Perfectly Plush Gluten Free Soft Pretzels (Vegan!)

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Proof time: 30
  • Cook Time: 18
  • Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Learn how to make the easiest gluten free soft pretzels that are so soft and plush, you’d never know they’re gluten free. Simple ingredients and no bread machine needed!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 mL) warm water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cups (272 g) millet flour
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp (140 g) tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 2 1/4 tbsp (24 g) psyllium husk powder
  • 1 packet (7 g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda (for baking soda bath)
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

Instructions

  1. Prep: Measure out all ingredients and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with 6 cups of water. Add the baking soda in. Wait to start boiling the water until after you start proofing the dough. Read through the instructions before beginning.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, whisk together the millet flour, tapioca starch, sea salt, psyllium husk powder, and instant dry yeast (quick rise yeast). Make sure that everything is thoroughly whisked.
  3. Make the dough: Add in the lukewarm water, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Use a dough hook attachment for the stand mixer or a large wooden spoon if making the pretzel dough by hand, and mix the dough on medium speed until you get a thick and consistent, slightly tacky dough. Allow the dough to knead for 4-5 minutes. This will take about 2-3 minutes for the dough to come together in the stand mixer before kneading, or about 5-7 minutes before kneading the dough if making the dough by hand.
  4. Shape the pretzel dough: Lightly flour a clean surface with millet flour. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll out one piece of dough to be an 18″ or 20″ long rope. ake the two ends of the and twist them twice together (see photos in the blog post). Bring them towards yourself and press down into the dough to form the pretzel shape.  Place the pretzel dough onto a parchment paper and repeat for the remaining pretzels. Cover the pretzels with a clean dish towel on the parchment paper.
  5. Proof the pretzels: Place the pretzels into a warm area to rise until double in size (or almost doubled in size- about 30 minutes). While the pretzels are rising, turn on the stove top to boil the pot of water. Bring the water to a boil.
  6. Baking soda bath: Once boiling and the pretzels have proofed, preheat the oven to 425F. Place 1-2 pretzels into the water, and allow them to boil for no longer than 20-25 seconds. Any longer, and they’ll taste like baking soda. Please set a timer. Once they’re done boiling, remove the pretzels with a slotted spoon and back onto the baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining pretzels.
  7. Bake: Sprinkle the boiled pretzels with flaked sea salt. Place the baking sheet into the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes, or until browned.
  8. Serve and enjoy! Remove the pretzels from the oven, serve, and enjoy! See blog post for serving ideas and variations. Enjoy!

Notes

Please see blog post for all tips and tricks, including substitutions!

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vegan gluten free soft pretzels on parchment paper