Last month, I was invited to an Oktoberfest-themed potluck. When you think of Oktoberfest, you think of beer, lederhosen, and pretzels! You probably don’t think of gluten free pretzels though 😅 Well, for those of you who can’t have gluten or if like me, sometimes choose to go gluten-free, here is a Paleo Pretzels recipe for you to still join in on the fun!
Now, if you are looking for the exact same texture and taste from this recipe as you would from say, a Wetzel’s Pretzels, you might be disappointed. But these pretzels are actually really soft with just the right amount of chew and they pull apart like the real deal! They remind me of warm bagels, which are my faaav! Plus, these Paleo Pretzels have an extra garlic-y goodness. Check it out!
THE MAKING OF PALEO PRETZELS
I’ve never made paleo pretzels before so I did some research. There are a few recipes out there for paleo pretzels but I wanted one that doesn’t require yeast (didn’t want to proof the dough), is dairy free, and doesn’t use coconut flour. Coconut flour tends to be dry and I really didn’t want a coconut taste to my pretzels.
I finally found a recipe by Kaylie and her blog, Paleo Gluten Free Eats. I like the ingredient list and her pretzels…look like pretzels!
The ONE thing that threw me off about Kaylie’s recipe was the cassava flour. I had no idea what that was! My good friend, who is an amazing cook and baker and knows everything about food, told me cassava is a starchy root vegetable, also known as yuca. It’s gluten-free, grain-free, and nut free. It’s actually really similar to wheat flour in texture and taste so it’s awesome for paleo baking!
I was kind of upset I did not know about this awesome paleo-friendly ingredient until I went to Whole Foods to get some. Cassava flour is not cheap. Most recommended cassava flour is by the brand, Otto’s Naturals, and it sells for $18.49 on Amazon. But to its credit – it did make for some pretty baller paleo pretzels 😎 Another brand that’s a little cheaper is Anthony’s Premium Cassava Flour, which retails for $12.99 on Amazon.
To make the pretzel dough is actually super easy. You just mix everything together in a bowl – Cassava flour, arrowroot flour, eggs, palm oil shortening, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt, and baking powder. I don’t have a stand mixer so I used a hand mixer to make sure everything was combined well. Then I dug in with my hands to knead the dough.
The trickier part was stretching the dough out and making the pretzel shape. This dough is more delicate than gluten-filled dough so I had to be careful how much I was pulling at it. Take your time and if the dough rips, just ball it up, knead it some more, and try again. I made this batch twice and both times I was able to make about ten mini pretzels.
Once the dough is made and the pretzels shaped, then comes the “Secret Step”. You have to boil them! Boiling the dough makes them “puff” up and helps create that pretzel chewiness. Let each pretzel cook in the water for about a minute and remove them with a strainer or spatula (something to let the water drip off!)
The cassava flour in this recipe doesn’t brown very much when baked so to help that along, add some baking soda to the water before you boil the dough. I also find that this helps puff them up even more.
ADDING SOME FLAVOR
For a classic pretzel, after the water boil bath, a simple egg wash and sprinkle of sea salt will do it. But for my paleo pretzels, I added a coat of garlic parsley for extra flavor. If you want to take it further, toss in some parmesan cheese! That of course would make these no longer paleo but still gluten-free!
BAKED & DIPPED
Once the pretzels are coated, bake them at 400° for 20-25 minutes. The pretzels should gain a little color but they won’t be as brown as regular pretzels.
These pretzels definitely best enjoyed while still warm! I liked them as is and with a little mustard dip while my boyfriend prefered them with some very non-paleo beer cheese 😉 These Paleo Pretzels don’t keep too well after the first day as the dough dries out so be sure to serve these right away.
Did you know that “pretzel” in German is “brezel”? Hope you enjoy these Paleo Brezels! 😝
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1 cup arrowroot flour
- 4 medium eggs
- 1/4 palm oil shortening
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1-2 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 egg (for a darker, less shiny bake, can use just the yolk)
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (dried is fine!)
- kosher salt or course sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Combine all of the dough ingredients, except for the baking soda, and mix extremely well. Use the dough feature on a KitchenAid mixer or knead thoroughly by hand.
- Separate the dough into 10 equal parts. Roll each part into a long tube and fold into a pretzel shape. May need to pinch the ends a little to ensure the pretzels don’t come undone when you put them in the boiling water.
- In a medium saucepan, mix some water and baking soda together and bring to a boil. You don’t need a ton of water, about half your saucepan, deep enough to engulf the pretzels.
- Drop the pretzels one at a time into the boiling water and let it cook for 1 minute. Remove with a mesh strainer or spatula, shaking off as much water as possible before placing the pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Mix the ingredients for the topping and brush it liberally onto the pretzels. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
- Let it cool enough to handle and then serve immediately. Paleo Pretzel Prost!
For a gluten-free dessert to follow these paleo pretzels, check out these Grain Free Espresso Brownies!