Monday, March 14, 2011

Pretzels for Lent

Indeed. Pretzels done the Catholic way are the topic of this post. In great quantity, you say? No....for LENT!

My daughter brought this recipe home from her Sunday school program. They're easy and tolerant. For example, mine rose for 4 hours because I couldn't get to them, and one batch cooked nearly 2x as long as they should have because I turned off the oven but forgot to remove them. All edible still. I just recommend that you tuck the "arm-ends" under or they look a little, um, unappetizing when baked.

As my daughter summarized: They weren't the best, but they were pretty good and I liked making them.

Recipe and story, courtesy of Creative Communications for the Parish (c).

"Many years ago, an Italian monk made a simple bread to remind his brother monks that Lent was a time of prayer. He rolled bread dough in strips and shaped them in the form of arms crossed over the heart in a prayerful gesture. These little breads were called bracellae, the Latin word for "little arms." From this word came the German word bretzel, and our word pretzel."

1 1/2 c warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
4 1/2 to 5 c flour

1 beaten egg
coarse (kosher) salt

Pour water in bowl. Stir in yeast, salt and sugar to dissolve. Mix in flour and form a ball. Knead. Let rest 1 hour. Roll dough into strips about 1/2in x 6in, or to desired size. Fold into pretzel shapes and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush lightly w/egg and sprinkle w/salt. Bake 425 for 15 min. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

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