3/4 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour or plain flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon dry active yeast
1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
(coarse salt is not a crude sailor)
makes 12 pretzels
Put water, flour, sugar, salt, brown sugar, and yeast in bread maker. Follow instructions for dough setting. Take a nice relaxing bath for about 45 minutes before summoning courage to beat egg.
Beat egg. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When bread maker is done, separate dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 15″ log. Fold each log into a pretzel shape. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Place pretzels on cookie sheet. Brush pretzels with egg. Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-to-15 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
1) Pretzels were invented by Christian monks around the start of the seventeenth century. They were given to children for learning their devotions and resembled arms crossing the chest in prayer.
2) Italians, Spanish, and French have always claimed to have invented the pretzel. This disagreement grew so heated that they fought each other constantly from 1494 to 1525. The Spanish eventually prevailed, winning the right to rule Italy and claim ownership of the pretzels for 200 years. Deprived of pretzel bragging rights, the Italians lost interest in the Renaissance. Indeed, arts languished everywhere for hundreds of years until the Richard Wagner’s operas and Jim Henson’s Muppets Show. It is no coincidence that German Wagner and American Henson hail from the two greatest pretzel making countries in the world.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.