Mickey shaped pretzel on brown parchment paper with parts of more pretzels showing in the background
|

Gluten-Free Mickey Pretzels Recipe

“Does Disney World have gluten-free soft pretzels?” This is one of the top questions asked by gluten-free guests prepping for a dream Disney vacation.

The answer is always met with disappointment. Nope. No gluten-free Mickey pretzels.

Disney does an amazing job accommodating gluten-free guests. With that as the foundation, take my words here as a suggestion, not a criticism… Disney, we want gluten-free Mickey pretzels!

Until Disney indulges us, I have you covered with this amazing recipe for gluten-free Mickey Pretzels that are soft on the inside and chewy on the outside. Everything a pretzel should be, just without the gluten.

For those of us on the West Coast, who don’t even have gluten-free churros at Disneyland, I highly recommend making the Mickey Churro-Pretzel version of this recipe.

gluten-free Churro Mickey Pretzel with white dip in a small bowl in the background

Supplies

  • Kitchen Scale: useful for accurately measuring gluten-free flour
  • Stand Mixer: takes all the heavy lifting out of mixing the pretzel dough
  • Slotted Turner Spatula: for dipping Mickey pretzels in a baking soda bath (more on that in a minute)
  • Saucepot: for the baking soda bath. I use a 4-quart saucepan.
  • 2 Baking Sheets
  • 2 Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper

Ingredients

These pretzels are truly perfect. Real pretzels in every way. The ingredients are the key. When King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour combines with instant yeast and the other pantry staples on this list, the aroma will instantly tell you something special is in the works. Then, the baking soda bath puts the finishing touch on the ideal pretzel appearance and texture.

Here are the ingredients that make it all happen:

  • King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour
  • Instant Yeast: I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Warm Water (not hot)
  • Butter (melted)
  • Coarse Salt for Sprinkling: I generally use Morton’s Kosher Coarse Salt which is easy to find in most grocery stores.
  • Baking Soda Bath: boiling water and baking soda. The baking soda bath is the magic (or science, actually) that gives pretzels their traditional chewy exterior. It is a must-do step.

*A few words about the flour, which is essential for these pretzels. This recipe is designed to be made only with King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour, which contains gluten-free wheat starch. This flour gives the Mickey Pretzels their “real pretzel” taste and texture. Gluten-free wheat starch has been processed to remove the gluten protein in wheat that triggers an autoimmune response in those of us with celiac disease. It is suitable for a gluten-free diet for individuals with celiac disease. It is not safe for those with a wheat allergy. Learn more about gluten-free wheat starch.

INSTRUCTIONS 

While at first glance, the steps in this recipe may overwhelm you, these pretzels are surprisingly very easy. Take one step at a time.

Mix the Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour, instant yeast, brown sugar, salt, 1 ¾ cups of warm water, and melted butter. As soon as the warm water hits the flour and yeast, you will be transported back to your gluten-filled baking days. The pretzels are going to be amazing.

mixing bowl with dry and wet ingredients and a dough hook for mixing

Using the dough hook, mix at #2 speed for five minutes. I find that initially my mixer leaves some of the flour on the bottom of the mixing bowl. If you still see unmixed flour after about a minute of mixing, simply pause the mixer to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, ensuring all of the flour is incorporated. Then, restart the mixer, allowing the dough hook to knead the dough for the remainder of the five minutes.

dough hook mixing pretzel dough in a metal mixing bowl
Let the Dough Rise

The dough will come together into a ball during mixing. Cover the mixing bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for one hour. I like to place the bowl in a sunny spot in my kitchen to add a little warmth, helping the yeast do its job. The dough will rise to about 150% during that hour.

Prepare for Baking Soda Bath and Baking

After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats. You can also use parchment paper instead of silicone mats. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil for the baking soda bath.

While the oven is preheating and the baking soda bath is getting ready to boil, it’s time to shape the pretzels.

Shape the Mickey Pretzels

Cut the dough ball into 12 fairly even pieces.

12 pieces of dough

Then, muster up your preschool playdough skills, and roll each piece of dough into a roughly 22-inch long rope (or snake).

The texture of the dough should be workable like traditional wheat flour dough and not too sticky. If the dough seems too dry, you can rub oil on your hands. If it seems too wet, sprinkle a light dusting of gluten-free flour on your work surface.

long rope of dough on a white counter

Form each rope into a circle, firmly pressing the ends together. You want to try to seal this seam or it may pop open later. I also strategically place the seam at about the 7 o’clock position on the circle. It will lie under the top portion of Mickey’s head, hiding it a bit in case it does not remain sealed.

Pretzel dough rope formed into a circle, with a finger pointing to the 7 o'clock position where the ends of the rope are joined together.

Grab the top of the circle with two fingers, and pull it straight down below the bottom of the circle, creating a “U” shape with two small circles on the outside.

Adjust the “U” into a round Mickey head, by pinching the top of the U closer together, almost forming a circle. 

Feel free to fiddle with the shape until you are satisfied with the appearance. Keep in mind a few things: the seam where the circle closes should be well-sealed, Mickey’s head should be round, and his ears should be big.

dough shaped into a Mickey-shape

I created this pattern for its simplicity. Once you get it down after the first pretzel or two, you should quickly be able to make the remaining Mickey shapes.

However, you have creative license. These are your Mickey Pretzels. If you want to make them more like the ones in the park, which have a more complex design, go for it!

Baking Soda Bath

Once you are happy with your Mickey shapes, place a pretzel on a slotted turner spatula and give the shape one last tweak. The shape of your pretzel going into the baking soda bath is set in stone once it hits the water, so I like to make sure I’m happy with the shape before putting it in the bath.

Place 1-2 Mickey pretzels at a time into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.

Mickey-shaped pretzel dough on an aqua slotted turner spatula about to be placed in a baking soda bath

They will float to the top, making it easy to carefully retrieve them from the water with the spatula. Allow excess water to drip off. 

Bake the Mickey Pretzels

Place the Mickey pretzels onto the prepared baking sheets. Then, sprinkle with coarse pretzel salt to taste.

Unbaked Mickey-shaped pretzel with coarse salt, on white parchment paper with parts of more pretzels showing in the background

(If you decide to make gluten-free Mickey Churro Pretzels, skip the salt. You’ll coat them with butter and cinnamon-sugar after baking.)

Bake the pretzels for 15-16 minutes until deep golden brown. Don’t cut the time short or the inside will still be doughy and will collapse while cooling. Pretzels are supposed to be a beautiful brown color.

Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Cheese Sauce

gluten-free Mickey pretzel being dipped in nacho cheese sauce, more Mickey pretzels in the background

Just like in Disney Parks, your Mickey Pretzels are perfect on their own or served with cheese sauce.

Double-check that your ready-made nacho cheese sauce is gluten-free, as some brands contain wheat.

You can also make this simple recipe for nacho cheese sauce using American cheese, milk, and jalapeño brine.

Gluten-Free Mickey Churro Pretzels (Sweet Variation)

Mickey churro pretzel being dipped in cream cheese frosting dip

If you’re missing Disney World’s gluten-free churros (served at the Nomad Lounge in Animal Kingdom and by request at Three Bridges at the Coronado Springs Resort), you will love Mickey Churro Pretzels.

To turn this salty treat into a sweet one, omit sprinkling coarse salt on top of the pretzels. Instead, you need:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup ground cinnamon, mixed

Bake the pretzels per the recipe instructions. After baking, use a pastry brush to coat the top of a Mickey pretzel with melted butter. Then dip the pretzel face-down in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with all pretzels.

Or make half salty and half sweet.

Try dipping these Mickey Churro Pretzels with the easy cream cheese frosting dip on the recipe card for my traditional-shaped, gluten-free, cinnamon-sugar pretzels.

Make Ahead

All soft pretzels are at their best warm. This gluten-free version is no different. Ideally, serve warm, right after baking.

If not enjoying them on the day they are baked, store pretzels in an airtight container in the freezer. Reheat before serving:

  • Oven Method: Spritz the pretzel with a little water and reheat at 350°F for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Microwave Method: Wrap the pretzel in a damp paper towel and reheat for approximately 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook in the microwave, as the pretzel will get too hard as it cools.

If taking the pretzels to the park, keep them in the freezer until the morning of your Disney day. Transfer the frozen pretzels to a plastic bag to take to the park, as they will defrost during the day. Even better if it’s a hot Florida day!

Related Posts

Mickey shaped pretzel on brown parchment paper with parts of more pretzels showing in the background

Gluten-Free Mickey Pretzels

The most clamored for Disney treat that ISN'T available gluten-free in Disney World. Make this easy recipe at home and enjoy delicious Mickey pretzels whenever you want! Soft on the inside and chewy on the outside. Option to make sweet Mickey Churro-Pretzels in the notes.
5 from 1 vote
Rate this Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 46 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine german
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

Baking Soda Bath

  • 9 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda

Instructions
 

  • Add King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour, instant yeast, brown sugar, salt, 1 ¾ cups of warm water, and melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a dough hook, mix at #2 speed for five minutes. Pause as needed to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the flour is incorporated.
  • During mixing, the dough should form into a ball. Cover the mixing bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for one hour. It will rise to about 150%.
  • After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside. In a large pot, bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil.
  • Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a roughly 20-inch long rope.
  • Make Mickey shapes out of each rope. Form the rope into a circle, firmly pressing the ends together. Grab the top of the circle with two fingers, and pull it straight down below the bottom of the circle, creating a "U" shape with two small circles on the outside. Adjust the "U" into a round Mickey head, by pinching the top of the U closer together, almost forming a circle.
  • Using a slotted turner spatula, place 1-2 Mickey pretzels at a time into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. They will float to the top. Carefully retrieve the pretzel from the water with the spatula, allowing excess water to drip off.
  • Place Mickey pretzels onto the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with coarse pretzel salt.
  • Bake for 15-16 minutes until deep golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Notes

*This recipe is designed specifically to be made with King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour, which contains gluten-free wheat starch as the primary ingredient. Gluten-free wheat starch is suitable for celiacs, but not for individuals with a wheat allergy. Learn more: https://www.goglutenfreely.com/gluten-free-wheat-starch/.
Mickey Churro-Pretzel option: Do not top with coarse salt. Instead, after baking, top with 6 tablespoons melted butter and mixture of 1 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup ground cinnamon. Brush melted butter on top of each pretzel, then dip in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Keyword Disney recipe, gluten-free, mickey mouse
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating