Monday, March 7, 2011

Little Rewards

You may be familiar with the history of pretzels as being invented centuries ago by an Italian monk who gave them to children as a reward for learning their prayers. Pretzels have long been associated with Lent because it's such a simple, yet substantial recipe that fulfills the Lenten requirements at the time for abstaining from animal products.

I recommend this soft pretzel recipe by Alton Brown. You might also want to watch him give a bit of pretzel history, related science involving yeast and Ph, and demonstrate a technique or two in these videos. (The actual pretzel recipe starts about 5 minutes into the first part.) It does include a little butter to make the bread softer and it's brushed with egg yolk to give it that great color (without using lye), so if you're avoiding all egg and dairy products this Lent, you'll want to make those adjustments.

Related articles here, here, and here.

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