Monday, February 6, 2012

Soft Pretzels

Sunday was a beautiful day! After church, Liberty took a nap and the boys all disappeared outside. Ruby loves to work in the kitchen, and since nobody was around to complain they were hungry I decided that maybe we didn't need lunch after all. 
Ruby loves to help in the kitchen and is quite competent. Even more so than many of her older siblings. Aaron knows how to cook because food is important, but usually he is in the kitchen with a book in one hand and distractedly making food. Taylor just doesn't care all that much for food and sees it as a bother. Ruby just enjoys making things people like to eat. 

We decided to make homemade Soft Pretzels. She knew that the sugar activates the yeast and that the water can't be too hot or it will kill the yeast. After Ruby made the dough everyone started wandering in. Either they knew something good was up,  or they were getting hungry. 
Everyone pitched in and shaped the pretzels. Erik asked me if I spent all day every day in the kitchen. Good observation!

Recipe for Soft Pretzels
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 Cups flour (I used 1 cup white and the rest whole wheat)
1 egg
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp coarse salt

Preheat oven to 425. Grease 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and blend until yeast is dissolved. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in sugar, salt and enough flour until a soft and sticky dough forms. 
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 to 7 minutes adding flour in 1/2 cup increments as needed. Dough should not stick and be smooth and elastic. 
Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and roll out until you get a rope (or play dough type snake) then cross the dough into a pretzel shape and place on baking sheet. 
Mix together egg and water and brush on the pretzels. sprinkle with salt and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

I doubled the recipe and they lasted about as long as it took for them to cool. You could have fun and let the children make different shapes, or their initials. 

Originally known as the Pretiola (Latin for little reward), Pretzels were created by monks who used to give children warm pretzels if they had memorized their Bible verses. The 3 holes in the pretzel represent the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The shape of the pretzel is supposed to symbolize a child crossing his arms in prayer. 

A little history with a yummy afternoon snack. Enjoy!

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