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Sometimes You Beat the Gluten, Sometimes the Gluten Beats You

I think I have finally recovered from my GF Pretzel Rod Adventure from last week. Well, at least enough to post a few funny photos!

So why did I even bother, you ask?  Well, that is a very good question!

For Sam’s Friday Fun Snack last week, we needed a gluten-free version of these:

But the only pre-packaged gluten-free pretzel stick available are these:

NOT EVEN CLOSE to the size I needed! Maybe if Sam were pocket-sized…

Now, We LOVE Glutino’s GF pretzels (for GF moms-to-be… they are a GREAT replacement for Saltines to help with morning sickness!), both the little sticks and the twists.  They are a staple in our house and even in our car (well, in our car until yesterday when I had my minivan detailed and I discovered a large mound of pretzel twists underneath Luke’s car seat…(how???).  I have once again vowed that food is banned from the car F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!  Which might last a week, and my kids know it!).  Anyway, I haven’t had a pretzel rod in years and I am not quite sure my boys have ever even had one, at least not Luke.  No big deal, a pretzel is a pretzel until you need to make a “magic wand” in your Kindergarten cooking class!


The “pretzel rod” is a MAJOR component in a “Magic Wand,” which is essentially one of these:

I was mortified when I got Sam’s Friday Fun Snack recipe a couple of weeks ago.  How in the heck was I going to make a GF Pretzel Rod??!  I’ve never even made a soft pretzel, let alone a hard, crunchy pretzel!  I started pouring over pretzel recipes online and landed on a few to try out, using my Better Batter Gluten Free Flour.  If any gluten-free flour blend could pull this off, it had to be Better Batter!

Yeah, not so much.  Not sure if it was because of the Better Batter though… I am definitely considering “operator error” as a major contributing factor! 😉

The first batch of dough I made was a real pickle to shape into an 8 – 9″ stick… and even when I achieved the desired length, it hardly resembled s Snyder’s Pretzel Rod!

So unless I could figure out how to shrink Sam like Alice in Wonderland, I had to figure this one out on my own!

Exhibit A:

My lumpy and bumpy 4″ uncooked pretzel stick…

Exhibit B:

It was a %#*&!@ to stretch it out a few more inches!

Exhibit C:

Once I got it to stretch (Exhibit B), I could then roll it, to smooth it out.  But it was obviously still “homemade” looking (this is my issue at hand right now with Sam, he is anti-homemade!)

So, I had to dig deep for some inspiration.

I turned to my role model that I have had since learning how to cook gluten-free:

Sometimes, you have to think “outside the box” in gluten-free cooking; so I decided to go off the Swedish Chef’s “innovation” for making donuts!  I went digging through Sam and Luke’s GF play-dough box!  😀

Disclaimer: The following Play-Doh toy has NEVER been contaminated with “glutonium.”  Santa brought the Play-Doh toys after having removed the gluten-containing Play-Doh! 😉  I still ran it through the dishwasher several times (ick…)

Know what that is?  It is one of these, LOL!:

Oh yes, I did.  I REALLY need some therapy.

The pretzels were pretty good fresh out of the oven but they WERE NOT crunchy pretzel rods! They reminded me of the hot pretzel bites from the movie theater, the kind you dip in nacho cheese.

Anyhoo, by the next morning, they were like a lead balloon with zero crunch. I sent them in with Sam anyway, at least he wasn’t going to have a teeny tiny “magic wand!”  That would not have been good for his male ego. 😉

I also sent Sam in with his own chocolate in a Crock-Pot “Little Dipper,” and some GF sprinkles.

You can find these chocolate melting wafers at

I love my label maker…

but I hate pretzel rods. 😀

I hope everyone has a GREAT Monday, hopefully you can start it off with a little laugh…


  1. Using the play dough thing is genius!

    • Thanks Lisa! They do not make a pretzel rod mold/press/machine/contraption thingy and I was getting desperate! 🙂

      I think I need to launch a pretzel rod campaign with Glutino!

  2. I love the idea of using the play dough tools! I was just reading about Alta's attempt to make Churros with her kids at…. She used a pastry bag to pipe the dough into long lengths. It was probably a softer and stickier dough than you were using.
    Oh, and if you need a recipe for the big, soft pretzels, I just tried making them:

    • Churros!! OMG, I have to check those out, Sam used to love churros pre-GF and they are everywhere in New Mexico (baseball games, etc.) so he is always reminded of them. Thanks for the link. I did try using a pastry bag, but the dough was too heavy (almost broke the play dough tool). I am going to mess around with some lighter doughs to see if I get better results. The potato flour in the Better Batter does not lend itself to a "Light" bread dough, it is heavy and dense.

      I am also going to check out your pretzels! We have had a sudden craving for a soft, hot pretzel with mustard! 🙂

      Thanks Heather!!

  3. Oooh…hot soft pretzel?!?!

    You are one very special person. Sam is lucky to have you for a Mom. 🙂


  4. Your innovation amazes me! Sorry they weren't crunchy but they looked great!

  5. Do you think crunchy pretzels are fried? Just wondering. Great job!!

  6. Great Story Heidi! I loved your good humor when faced with this GF challenge! Not every endeavor is a smashing success, but they're always a learning experience. I love the Glutino pretzels too – especially the one with Sesame seeds on them. Have you seen the fat content though?!?!

    • Hi Todd!

      You are correct, not every endeavor is a success, at least in terms of what is "quanitifiably" beautiful. If you can get get a good laugh and a fond memory though… that is priceless! 🙂

      LOVE your blog by the way and I am so happy that Crave bakery is posting recipes!!!!

  7. Ooh hot pretzel bites from the theater? I loved those! Much better than crunchy, in my opinion.

  8. I have to say, love the Swedish Chef! That's one of my favourite episodes, too! 😀

  9. Heidi

    I missed out on all the fun. My kids were teens when diagnosed, but I don't think I would have handled making GF kid food with your humor or creativity. Another post that cracked me up.


  10. You are very very brave. I love all the things that you try. I went 12 years before discovering a gluten free pretzel. I love that you try to make your kids feel like they are not missing out but when Sam complains about home-made don't take it personally. At some point or another he will have to accept that rice flour just doesn't have the same elasticity as wheat flour. I hope he learns to appreciate what you are doing for him and that he doesn't have to be the kid that is always sick and doesn't know why. Chances are – that will take some growing up.

  11. Greatly enjoyed the website, humorous aws well as informative.

    I was just curious, did you ever manage to make crunchy pretzels ?

    I and my daughters (2) are all celiac(s) and this would be a great surprise for them since none of us hav had a pretzel for over ten years!

    Any advice on crunchifying them would be appreciated.


    • Hi Ric,

      Ya know, I have not revisited this experiment since I first made this post, but I need to now that I'm allergic to corn and cannot have the store-bought gluten-free pretzels anymore. I'm wondering if this would work: putting the pretzel dough through a pasta maker (to make the shape), then sticking the uncooked dough in a dehydrator (to remove the excess moisture from the dough) and then baking them?

      Not sure how bad I would have to crave pretzels to go through that process though, LOL!

  12. Bunnie Girl says

    I laughed so hard, I wee weed. Thanks for that! It doesn't count as laughter unless you get ahem…some sort of fluid/tears or …ha ha.

    This was the first entry I read on your site. I can't wait to dive into more. The play dough machine was simply the most brilliant idea ever! You are 1/3 mom, 1/3 chef, and a 1/3 Einstein. Can't wait to take more adventures with you! ( I plan on packing tissues just in case!)


  13. Charlemagne Prokopyshyn says

    haha i loved that play dough post! excellent and resourceful well done!


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