Thursday, April 2, 2009


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?


1 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


  1. I think I just might try pretzels again ... we tried them a few years back and they were less than photographable!

    Thanks for the post .... and Holy Week prayers for you and yours ...

  2. Wow, that sounds so quick with no rise time, my kind of recipe. I might make several batches! Thanks!

  3. I love making these during Lent. We always have them at some point during the season. I wish I could find pretzel salt, though. As a child in Pennsylvania, we could buy it in the grocery store, but now all I can use is sea salt. Still good, but it just doesn't have quite the same flavor.
    Oh...and we always have them with yellow mustard...another Pennsylvania thing.

  4. I hope that we will be able to find time to make pretzels this coming week, since we have yet to have the opportunity to this year!

    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  5. I had made pretzels with my older bunch many years ago, with less than good results. Tried this recipe with my younger bunch and now it will have to be repeated every year. Yum...big success. Thank you!

  6. I'm so glad it worked for you, Kim!!! I've varied the recipe a bit, using flat beer for the water and we had very tasty, chewy pretzels!

    I confess...I thought there was no such thing as too much salt on a pretzel...until our first batch came out. blech! :)

    Glad you're all enjoying the pretzel recipe. I wanted to mention as well that I use my bread machine to mix up the dough. We just pull out the dough to shape.

  7. I linked to your post! Thanks!!

  8. These turned out great, first try, and so easy. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Thank you for this. I was inspired when planning our activities for Ash Wednesday. I linked back to you in a post I just wrote on it. Thanks again!