While growing up, my mom continuously had a bowl of pretzels sitting on the kitchen counter during Lent with a special “pretzel prayer” next to it. The pretzels, symbolic of God’s arms wrapped around us, were a daily reminder to my siblings and I of the liturgical season we were in. When I began my own family 20 years ago, I was eager to carry on this treasured tradition. Over time, we went from processed, store bought pretzels to making our own homemade pretzels – now a part of our family tradition during Lent. Thankfully, pretzels are super simple to make and easy to involve younger children in the process!
2 Packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
course salt, or to taste
First, stir the yeast into 1 cup warm water in a large bowl. Then beat in flour, sugar, butter and salt to make a dough – followed by putting the dough onto a floured surface and kneading for 5 minutes.
Next, place the dough into a greased bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. When the hour is up, punch the dough down and divide it into 12 equal size pieces. Then, roll each piece into a rope 18-20 inches long.
After you have all your strands of dough, shape them to look like pretzels and put them on a greased baking sheet.
The next step is to beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl and brush the yolk mixture over each pretzel. Finally, sprinkle each one with course salt. Ta-Da! The pretzels are now ready to bake until golden brown in the oven at 375′ for 15 minutes.
The pretzels taste delicious!
This is the prayer passed down to me from my mother as a reminder of what the pretzels symbolize.
Happy pretzel making and have a blessed Lent!