Pretzels: Baking the Alphabet

What better way to learn how to spell your name than in pretzels? I think all toddlers and Germans will agree.

It is edible playdough. A dream come true for little people.


Photo/Kendra Yost

The warm, soft breaded delights are believed to be the world’s oldest snack.

Originating from Southern France near 610 A.D., Monks created pretzels by baking thin strips of dough into the shape of a child’s arms folded in prayer. It was a reminder for kids to say their prayers.

There is even a National Pretzel Day for the ballpark favorite.

Pretzel Recipe

4 tsp. yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1 1/4 c. warm water

3 1/2-4 1/2 c. bread flour (I just used all-purpose and it was fine)

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

4 c. water

1/2 c. baking soda

Kosher salt for sprinkling

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Make a well in the center, add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Knead 3-4 minutes. Cover and let rise until double (approx. 30 minutes).

Form dough into letters about the thickness of your finger.

In a pot, mix water and baking soda. Bring to a boil. Dip each pretzel into boiling soda water for 5 seconds. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Add course sea salt and dip it in mustard. Or maybe you prefer Cheese Whiz?

Photo/Kendra Yost

Invite the neighbor kids over to chow hound the alphabet.


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