I’ve mentioned before that part of our lifestyle changes stemmed from what is, in my opinion, the insanity that surrounds so many of the holidays.
There is a really amazing homemade pretzel recipe at the bottom of this post, so stick with me and know that this isn’t a “you suck for creating a beautiful holiday spread” rant, and I am not looking down my nose at anyone, and certainly not at those who make a conscious decision to create the perfect St. Patrick’s Day (?!?), and I do believe there are people who really do have the gift of creating those sorts of moments effortlessly.
But I am not one of those people.
So I quit holidays. Ok – not really. Ok – kinda.
The Holy days of Easter and Christmas are important to us. I like a good fireworks display on the 4th of July… And #TeamUs day is a big deal in our home.
But holidays certainly look different around our home.
Trust me – I’ve struggled with it at times. It’s hard going against the fray. I have fond memories of all of the traditions and things we did for holidays growing up. But somewhere along the way, society took it overboard, and it seems to have become about keeping up, not keeping tradition.
Anyway. About Easter…
We did decorate eggs, but our kids didn’t get baskets *gasp* and we didn’t have a ham with all the fixins. There were no new outfits for church.
But we had a wonderful weekend doing some things, as a family, that were out of the ordinary for us, and may become our own Easter traditions.
One of those things was making these pretzels:
We’ve made Resurrection Rolls for the last several Easters, and those worked great for the first year or two, but after that, they really just became the “Sugar-Loaded-Ooey-Gooey Sweet Rolls”, so I wanted to try something different this year.
I’m not gonna lie — these pretzels were delicious. And they were so simple. The secret is getting the water temp for dissolving the yeast correct, and the secret to that, is a kitchen thermometer. Trust me on that. I’ve tried guessing the water temp before and ended up with a baked rock.
I rolled mine out with my hands to about 14″, and shaped into a really poorly shaped pretzel shape, but shape-shmape. Just make sure it’s not a big blob of dough. A thin rope made into a shape works best because air needs to be able to circulate around them so they cook evenly throughout.
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup bread flour
- 3 cups regular flour
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- Coarse salt
- 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
- In a large glass mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. (temp 105* to 110*). Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with a towel, place in a warm spot, and let rise at least 1/2 hour.
- Prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Pinch off bits of risen dough and roll into an approximately 14″ long rope. Shape into traditional pretzel shape, ABC’s or any other shape. Quickly dip the pretzel into the baking soda bath, place on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake in 450 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.
- Brush with melted butter.
We each ate one and then realized we could easily devour them all, so we shared some with the neighbors and they love us even more now. :)
What Easter traditions have you created with your family?