Traditionally, the pretzel was only eaten during Lent. It is available all year round now, but before it became a popular snack food it was available from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday. There are records of Lenten pretzels in a 5th century manuscript in the Vatican Library. Early Christians ate no dairy products during Lent, so pretzels were made from the simplest of ingredients - flour, salt, and water.
It is made in the shape of two arms crossed in prayer. The origin of the name comes from the word "bracellae" (little arms). In German it became "Bretzel" which then changed to "Pretzel".
If you haven't yet made pretzels during Lent, why not try it during Holy Week?
Pretzels1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour (I make mine with half white, half whole wheat sometimes)
Coarse or kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
Add the honey to the water; sprinkle in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Blend in flour, and knead the dough until smooth. Cut the dough into pieces. Roll them into ropes and twist into pretzel shapes. Place pretzels on lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush them with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 425 for 12 - 15 minutes - or until the pretzels are golden brown.
These pretzels make a lovely Lenten tea. Pair them with a nice Earl Grey or your favorite tea. Pin It