Pretzel Sunday offers a wonderful, inter-generational hour of rolling dough and baking pretzels. Cinnamon sugar seems to be the favorite topping at my church. Read on for a pretzel dough recipe for a crowd…
Why pretzels during Lent?
There are at least two different stories of how pretzels became a associated with Lent. In one version, monks used leftover pieces of dough to reward children who learned their prayers. They were called “Pretiola” meaning little rewards. Others say this Lenten bread was called “bracellae” or “bretzel” and never served after Palm Sunday. The stories do agree on one important point: the shape of the pretzel represents arms folded across the chest in prayer, reminding us to pray during Lent.
Pretzel Recipe (Thanks to Mt Zion UMC and Alison Carmack for sharing all their pretzel info):
1 ½ c warm water (not hot), 1 pkg active dry yeast, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp salt, 4 c flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt and flour. Mix until a dough forms. Knead on a floured board. Take a golf ball-sized piece of dough and roll it into a 15-inch strip. Make a loop by twisting the ends together. Bring the ends up and over and press them against the sides of the loop. Place the pretzels on a greased cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 425 deg for 12-15 minutes.
This dough can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator overnight. For best results, take the dough out of the refrigerator an hour before twisting.