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…

12 Responses

  1. Using the play dough thing is genius!

  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. […] Bender on Gluten-Free Lettuce Wraps, P.F. Chang’s Styleadventuresofaglutenfreemom on Sometimes You Beat the Gluten, Sometimes the Gluten Beats YouTodd Bender on Sometimes You Beat the Gluten, Sometimes the Gluten […]

  8. […] the class to have as a treat afterward. Mind you, this was during the same period of time as the “Magic Wand” Friday Fun Snack and my fall from grace as I found myself squeezing pretzel dough out of a play dough toy. It was a […]

  9. […] “manly men” in my house and the teeny-tiny magic wands just don’t cut it, (nor do my homemade pretzel rods!) […]

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