“I can’t remember the last time I had a really great pretzel. Freshly puffed and temptingly aromatic, they’re the ones with the deep brown sheen that — if you’re lucky — you get still warm, the large specks of salt catching the light just so as they’re slid out of the oven.”
―Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times
Have you ever made pretzels?
They are so much fun to make! Not only do I love working with dough (I find the process of kneading it and waiting for it to proof very satisfying), they were a delight to braid and bake.(Here is an article on how to produce this nifty knot out of a rope of dough).
Here they are all cozy in their sweet and salty bath – after the second proofing and right before baking.
Check out the smitten kitchen recipe I used. The only thing I would add is that they ought to be eaten right away out of the oven, they just don’t taste as good after they’ve sat about. I tried a sweet and savoury version – mustard/garlic and cinnamon/sugar – totally delicious.
And did you know?
- National Pretzel Day in the U.S.A. is April 26, the state of Pennsylvania still produces 80% of that nation’s pretzels, where hard pretzels originated from.
- And speaking of the U.S.A….. In 2002 while watching the Baltimore/Miama NFL playoff game, President George W. Bush was munching on a pretzel in the White House and choked! He lost consciousness but came-to a few minutes later.
- Pretzel aficionados/enthusiastics are “pretzelphytes”
- Ever wonder what a pretzel chair would look like? Industrial/Furniture Designer George Nelson made one! (And I think it’s quite beautiful!)
- The phrase “tying the knot” came from the Swiss! They still incorporate the lucky pretzel in wedding ceremonies: newlyweds traditionally make a wish and break a pretzel (the wishbone or glass from ceremonies in other places).
Happy kneading and knotting!