Homemade Pretzel Recipe
Our family was first introduced to a homemade pretzel recipe when our oldest son was preparing to make his First Holy Communion. Prior to receiving the sacrament, the children all participate in an afternoon retreat. During the retreat, the children help make homemade pretzels as they hear the story of the Lenten Pretzel.
The group leader explains to the children that in the early church, pretzels were made in a shape representing the image of a person praying, with their arms folded over their chest in prayer. After the children shape the pretzels, they eagerly await trying their masterpieces as the soft, warm pretzels rise in the oven.
Our son thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and still recalls fond memories of the retreat, even five years later! Since that time, we have made numerous batches of homemade pretzels, and have yet to be disappointed. We vary our pretzel toppings, and typically choose between coarse sea salt or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The recipe is quite simple, and very inexpensive to make.
1 package active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour (more if dough is sticky)
Dissolve yeast, sugar, and salt in warm water. Stir in flour. Place on floured board (I just use our kitchen counter), and knead for 10 minutes. Pinch off small strips of dough, and roll into 12 inch ropes. Twist into pretzel shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
I typically line the cookie sheets with foil, as it makes for a much quicker clean up. I also usually make a double batch of dough, which yields an average of 2 dozen pretzels.