Homemade Prayer Pretzels
The process of making pretzels was once used to teach kids about prayer during Lent. The shape of a traditional pretzel mimics the folding of hands in prayer. Make homemade pretzels as a family, and while they are baking, think of someone nearby who is in need of prayer.
The following verses are great discussion starters about talking to God in prayer:
“THEREFORE, CONFESS YOUR SINS TO ONE ANOTHER AND PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, SO THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED. THE URGENT REQUEST OF A RIGHTEOUS PERSON IS VERY POWERFUL IN ITS EFFECT.”
JAMES 5:16 (HCSB)
“I CALL ON YOU, GOD, BECAUSE YOU WILL ANSWER ME; LISTEN CLOSELY TO ME; HEAR WHAT I SAY.”
PSALM 17:6 (HCSB)
“CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU, AND WILL TELL YOU GREAT AND HIDDEN THINGS THAT YOU HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
JEREMIAH 33:3 (ESV)
When the pretzels are done, enjoy some as a family and wrap up the rest to take to that person and let them know you are praying for them. If you make a big enough batch, you can take them to multiple people!
1 c. very warm, but not boiling, water (105-110 degrees)
2 Tbs. dry yeast (or two packets if using pre-packaged instead of bulk)
½ c. + 3 tsp. honey, divided
½ c. butter
1 Tbs. salt
2½ c. whole milk
8 c. whole-wheat white flour (or unbleached flour)
In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 3 teaspoons honey. Let rest. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add remaining honey, salt, and milk. Heat this to 120°F over medium heat (use a candy thermometer). Take off stove and let cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour milk mixture into yeast mixture and stir well. Fold in flour 2 cups at a time. You may need to add a little more or less than 8 cups to make a slightly stiff dough. This depends on the humidity of the day.
Knead dough for 5–10 minutes. Place in a large, oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1–1½ hours, until doubled in size.
Punch dough down to release air and knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Take a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball. Roll it into a rope about half an inch thick. Make it into a pretzel shape by crossing the ends, leaving about two inches on the ends. Then twist at the intersection of the two ends one time. Fold the ends down to touch the sides, creating a traditional pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining dough. (Makes 10-14 pretzels on average)
Place pretzels on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F until golden brown. Do not over bake.
When you remove pretzels from the oven, brush them with additional melted butter, then sprinkle coarse salt on top.
Grandma Shug’s Mustard Sauce
My mother-in-law, known by her adoring grandkids as Grandma Shug, passed away in January 2022 at the age of 92. This delicious sauce was her go-to to serve with ham, but it is also fabulous for dipping homemade pretzels in. It can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to six weeks. This disappears fast!
In a saucepan combine:
1 cup sugar
1 cup yellow regular mustard
1 can tomato soup (Yes! Tomato soup. But you can’t taste it.)
3/4 cup vinegar
1 cup real butter
4 eggs, well beaten
Cook over medium heat until it thickens, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. It will take 8-10 minutes or a bit longer. Cool, stirring occasionally and store, covered, in the fridge. Triple yum!