Kirsten loves mustards of various kinds. She is also an excellent pretzel maker. One of her gifts was two mustards.
So the other day she blessed us with fresh-baked pretzels and mustards to put on them. Yummy!!!
Kirsten's Pretzels - Soft Ones
Did you know that pretzels came from monks? As early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms. (Read more about pretzels at http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/Pretzel.htm)
(This is a fun recipe to make with kids who love to knead dough and get messy!)
3 1/2 - 5 cups white flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon yeast (regular or fast-acting)
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. coarse salt
In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast with wooden spoon until well mixed.
Heat water to 120 - 130 farenheit. Add warm water and oil to flour mixture.
Mix well. Add in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, leaves side of bowl and is easy to handle.
On a floured surface put dough out. Knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour to surface as needed to keep dough from sticking.
Cover with a cloth or dish towel, let rest 10 minutes.
Move oven rack to middle of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheet. In shallow bowl stir 1 cup water and baking soda to make pretzel "wash".
Divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each peice into 24 inch rope. Dip hands in pretael wash to make rolling dough easier. Make pretzel shape. Just before baking, brush on pretzel wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven 15 - 20 minutes.