Celebrate Oktoberfest With Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

Blazing fall foliage, crisp blue-sky days, hot spiced cider… this time of year is just begging to be celebrated.  And starting this weekend in Munich, Germany, one very well-known autumnal celebration is kicking off: Oktoberfest. Despite the name, Oktoberfest typically begins towards the end of September, and really, what better way to kick of this incredible season than sitting with a plate of hearty, warming food, surrounded by joyful people?

Of course, as someone who grew up in a German household eating traditional German food, I’ll be the first to admit that Oktoberfest fare isn’t exactly known to be the healthiest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own spin on the classics and host your own healthy and homemade autumn gathering. To help you get geared up, today I’m sharing a recipe for an ubiquitous autumnal treat: soft pretzels. Golden, soft, and a little chewy, these pretzels are pretty amazing, and even better, they’re gluten free and fun to make.

These pretzels take about an hour from start to finish, and you may want to grab a cooking partner to whip them up with you. But set aside some time and I can almost guarantee you’ll have a blast making these delicious golden treats.


Gluten Free Soft Pretzels
Makes about 8 medium pretzels (palm-size)


1 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I prefer Glutino brand)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 tsp coconut sugar (regular white sugar works fine as well)

1/2 cup warm water

1 egg

1 Tbs honey

Coconut oil

Melted butter

Coarse sea salt (for dusting)

For baking soda bath:

large pot

2 1/2 quarts water

2/3 cup baking soda

Additional tools:


Cookie sheet

Parchment paper

Pastry brush

Large bowl


About an hour before you start, remove the egg from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the sugar, yeast, and water and allow to sit for five minutes (it will bubble, this is a good sign. If the yeast doesn’t bubble, the water is either too cold, or the yeast is inactive). While the yeast mixture is sitting, sift together the flour and fine sea salt.


Once the five minutes is up, add the egg and honey to the yeast mixture and set your mixer on a low speed. Pour in half of the sifted flour and salt and allow to mix for about a minute, pushing down any dough that sticks to the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. After a minute add the remaining dry mix to the wet, and blend on low until a soft dough forms. If the dough looks too dry, add additional warm water a little at a time.


Turn off the mixer and ball the dough up, kneading in any bits of dough that may be unmixed.


Very lightly dust a work surface with flour and place the dough ball beside it. Break off a chunk of dough slightly smaller than a golf-ball and roll it to about 8 or 9 inches in length.


Twist the length of dough into a pretzel shape. Repeat these steps until your dough ball is transformed into about 8 beautiful pretzels.


Line your baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the pretzels on top of it. Brush the pretzels with plenty of coconut oil and cover with a clean, damp dishtowel. Store in a warm place – such as your oven set on low or a warmed, clean dishwasher — and allow to proof for 30 minutes.


Towards the end of the proofing cycle, fill the pot with 10 cups of water and the baking soda and allow to come to a rolling boil.


Uncover the pretzels and, working one at a time, lower them into the boiling water.


Submerge each side for 15 seconds each before draining and placing back on the parchment paper. A hand-held pasta strainer works very well for this task.


After all the pretzels have been boiled, brush them liberally with butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or golden brown.


These pretzels are best served immediately and don’t keep well overnight. If you do store them, place a clean dry paper towel between them to keep the dough from absorbing the salt.

Serve alongside a gluten free cider with mustard for dipping, or any other topping you’d like to whip up. Enjoy!

More recipe posts from the BLDG 25 blog.

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9 years ago

Highly recommend dipping them in sweet grain mustard paired with a couple of weißwurst( white bavarian sausages (boil the sausages in water)….if your lucky your city might have a german/european deli market). Don’t forget to add some good german beer ( hofbrauhaus, erdinger or ayginger are wonderful)!

9 years ago

This sounds amazing!! I love giant soft pretzels. I bet these would be amazing with mustard.


9 years ago

This would be so fun to do with a friend – thanks for the recipe! Love all the fall inspiration on this blog :)

Warm Regards,

9 years ago

Do you think I could use coconut flour instead of a gluten free flour?

9 years ago

Mmmm I haven’t had a soft pretzel in forever. These look really good.

9 years ago

Mmmmm it looks soooo delicious !
I will try this next week for sure !
Thanks for sharing this recipe !


9 years ago

Thanks for the recipe. I bought some white Bavarian sausages, some great Bavarian beer and after baking your pretzel in a bit, it should be a perfect toast to Octoberfest and my new daughter-in-law in Freising!. Only thing missing, imo, is a beautiful fresh mass of Weihenstephan brew. GF has a few sighs of regret at times.

9 years ago

These do look and sound delicious but seem like a lot of work for something that you have to eat immediately and can’t store. Do you think it would be possible to freeze the unbaked pretzel dough so that you could have one whenever you wanted?

9 years ago

Why do you boil them?

Denise Anderson
9 years ago

Hi! I’m not a pretzel eater but these look absolutely delicious!! I am planning on using these for a Christmas gift ( my sister in law is gluten free and LOVES pretzels) but how do you recommend i do it? Do you think I can freeze them before the boiling part and in the instructions to her tell her to let them thaw and then boil or should I boil the pretzels then freeze? please help thank you!!

9 years ago

Thanks for the recipe. I made it tonight and everyone liked it. I used bobs red mill 1 to 1 gf flour.

8 years ago

Say, do you have to boil these? I’d like to adapt this to make gf pretzel challah. It would be bigger than these individual pretzels and thus make boiling quite difficult.
Thanks in advance!
Blessings and shalom!

8 years ago

I was excited to make these but when I put them in the boiling bath they completely fell apart – what did I do wrong?

7 years ago

You can use a little maple syrup if you don’t have honey…. But beware, it will need more flour… More than you’d expect… :1

7 years ago

Wow I tried making these for my family and they are delicious we all loved them!
I will definitely be making them again!

Susie Lee
7 years ago

What would happen if you froze the dough after forming them into a pretzel, then just took them out and completed the process when you wanted a pretzel or two? Think it would work?

6 years ago

Idk, these did not turn out anything like pictured. They tasted decent but could have been better. Cheers

5 years ago

I love this recipe. Mine looked like the picture. Nice and brown and yummy with the sea salt on top. I made mine DF and did not use any coconut product as I am allergic. I found my pretzels a little doughie however. Is that because I did not cook them long enough (10 mins) or let them rise too much (30 mins) or had them in the water too long (15 sec maybe 20 by the time I got them out)? Thank you!

1 year ago

Just tried to make these. Followed directions to the tee except that I used “Measure for measure” gluten free flour. They completely fell apart!