Monday, February 27, 2012

Making Pretzels

Making pretzels is a traditional Lent activity. I'd actually never made pretzels before....only eaten them! :) The story behind pretzels is that they were originally made by a monk to be a good steward in using up all the bread dough, and the crossed shape is to represent arms crossed in prayer. There is lots of info out on the internet about this if you want more details.....

We made the pretzels this morning....a great rainy-day activity!

What you need:
1 package yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
*we added some toppings of garlic powder, salt, parmesan cheese and dried dill*

To make:
-use water that is "baby bath water" warm
-mix yeast, water, sugar and salt and stir
-allow to sit while you sift the flower into a large bowl
-pour water mixture into flour mixture and knead for a while
-I had to add a couple more T. of water to get it the right consistency
-when all flour is incorporated, start taking handfuls of dough, roll into balls, and then roll into a long snake.
-the longer you work each dough ball in your hands the better pretzel it forms
-lay the dough down in the pretzel shape on a sprayed cookie sheet
-brush with egg and sprinkle with toppings

BAKE 425 for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
(mine yielded 12 pretzels about the size of my fist)

They turned out yummy! Best eaten warm....Would also be good topped with shredded cheddar cheese, with cinnamon and sugar, with pieces of dried apple and could get pretty creative with your toppings!

While the pretzels cooked we talked a little bit about prayer. We read the story of Jesus praying in the Garden before he was arrested and talked about how he was down on his face before God praying. Q has mentioned several times lately that you "HAVE" to close your eyes and fold your hands to pray, so we talked about how we can pray to God anytime, anywhere. We CAN use formal postures when we pray, but God hears our hearts, so prayers can be offered anytime.

This activity is one I highly recommend! It's an easy, fun cooking experience, includes fine motor skills of kneading, rolling, and forming the dough, makes a tactile and concrete connection to Biblical concepts, and is yummy, too!!