Origin of the Pretzel

Pretzels, Beer Steins & German Beer have become iconic symbols of a good German celebration or party.  If you have ever wondered about where pretzels came from (aside from the oven), the following trivia might satisfy your curiosity. 

Within the Christian Church, pretzels were regarded as having religious significance for both their ingredients and shape.   A common story for the origin of pretzels is that they were created by a monk around 610 in Italy. According to one source, the monk would bake dough strips which he would then fold into a shape that resembled a child crossing his arms in prayer “pretiola” (“little rewards”).  Another thought is that the three holes within the pretzel represent the three persons of the Trinity to teach children of this church doctrine. Pretzels were made with a simple recipe using only some water and flour. These could then be eaten during Lent, when Christians were forbidden to eat lard, dairy products or eggs. As time passed, pretzels became associated with both Lent and Easter. Pretzels were hidden on Easter morning just as eggs are hidden today.

Bringing pretzels to our time, nothing tastes better than a nicely salted pretzel complemented with a German beer stein filled with your favorite cold German beer.  If you want to make your own home made pretzels you can use the recipe noted below.  If you just want pretzels featured on party decorations to liven up your German party, click here for some ideas you can use.

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. ...
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. ...
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). ...
  4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. ...
  5. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.
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