Pretzels and Sunday Traditions

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do on Sundays was to bake treats. It started with my mom when I was pretty young, and progressed from there. I actually got pretty good at it at one point, and picked up a reputation in our family as "the pretzel maker." Years before, my mom had come across a recipe in a school newsletter, if I recall, which showed a simple method for making soft pretzels. These are more like the kind you get at the mall than the kind you get in a frozen box at Costco.

When we were married, I forgot how to cook. Really. Still can't remember much! One thing I've managed to pull from my childhood memory banks, though, is how to cook pretzels. And now, my kids love baking them with me. During the last school year, Amy had to take treats a few times. She tells me that her class always told her to bring pretzels after that first time when she did.

Today, when I got home from church, I was greeted not with "Daddy! You're home!" but "Daddy! Make Some Pretzels!" Same difference I suppose. And so, instead of a nap, we made pretzels. The best part is at the very end when you stuff your face with them. They're very soft, not crunchy. They're not even bad for you, though there's probably something not-too-healthy about eating 70% of the batch in 10 minutes. It's really a simple recipe, and if you're not slowed down by little hands, you can make a batch in under 30 minutes. I usually double the batch since they disappear so quickly. Still, they don't usually last 24 hours.

So, my challenge to you dads is to make some pretzels with your kids. They absolutely love making all sorts of play-dough shapes, and when they can cook and then eat their creation (legitimately!) it makes it even more fun for them.

We've searched the Internet for other recipes that might work better, and none have ever turned out for us. So try this one. I think you'll like it.

For those of you willing to take on the challenge, here's the recipe:
Soft Sunday Pretzels
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp per pkg, in case you forgot)

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

4-5 cups flour (will vary, so start low)
1 egg, beaten
course salt
Items in red
were not in the original recipe but have come from my experience.

Measure warm water and yeast into mixing bowl. Cover and let raise for 10-15 min so they don't come out like rocks. Add sale, sugar, and flour and mix. Sometimes it takes more flour, but don't go crazy up front. Roll dough into long snake shapes and twist into knots. Place on greased cookie sheets and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt. Let rise for just a few minutes more. This can be in a 100-degree oven or, on a warm day, just on the counter. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.

And so I suppose we have a full-blown family tradition to pass on to my girls' kids someday, too.

I still can't remember how to cook anything else, and any comments to the contrary will be promptly deleted! :-)


kevandcan said…
I take the challenge - assuming my kids don't mind making pretzles at 9pm on a Sunday :-)

Thanks for posting the recipe!
kevandcan said…
OK, so we made the pretzles tonight and loved them! Thanks Chris
Lori said…
Three cheers for pretzels! I always loved it when you'd make them when we were young.
Deni said…
I think I know what Brett is going to do when he returns from scout camp this week! Thanks for the suggestion!
Mia said…
What a fun family tradition! We should try those.
Linda said…
you were also a very good bread and pumpkin pie maker!

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