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Pretzel Making

February 18, 2011


Karen Andreola (the matron saint of CM educators) inspired me a few weeks ago with a post on her Moments with Mother Culture blog. It was about something simple–pretzel making.

I have personally never made bread (unless you count the friendship bread from a starter a friend gave me high school), but Karen’s post about the origins of pretzels –little arms folded in prayer!–made me want to give it a try.

Do you know the amazing story of the pretzel? While we are on the subject of word origins, pretzel comes from the Latin word pretiola, meaning small reward.
The legend tells of a young Italian monk who, it seems, was blessed with a good imagination and a heart for children. As early as the year 610 AD the monk noticed some leftover bread dough and was struck with an idea. He twisted small dough pieces into a shape that represented a child’s arms folded prayer. (Christians in that day would pray with their arms folded across their chest.) He used these biscuits as a treat or pretiola for children who learned their lessons and prayers. (It was also a way to feed the hungry.) The three empty holes in the biscuits helped teach the Holy Trinity. As pretiola gained in popularity it spread across the Alps into Germany where it became known as the pretzel.

I googled a few recipes and used a mix of this one and hers.  We made up the dough from scratch using a  packet of yeast I had bought  a while back with the hopes of making bread in my future. We rolled them, shaped them and dipped them in a baking soda bath for extra crustiness.


Yummy and so satisfying!

BTW-it wasn’t freezing in my house, but it was one of those days when your son decides to wear something very odd for no good reason and you just go with it, hence the hood zipped off his winter coat.


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