Pretzels for Lent

Did you know that the pretzel is a traditional food for lent? 

When early Christians would pray, they would cross their arms and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand. They also fasted very strictly during lent, making their bread with only water, flour, and salt. A monk shaped this in the form of praying arms for children, and the pretzel was born! To read more about the religious history of the pretzel and for the pretzel prayer, check out Catholic Culture's pretzel page.

Soft Pretzel Recipe~ What you need:
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
Mix your yeast, water, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, and knead until the dough is smooth. Shape into the form of arms crossed in prayer and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the dough with a beaten egg to give it a shiny finish (I skipped the egg on mine). Sprinkle the top with salt, and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 15 minutes. 

For fun, I drew out this Lenten Pretzel Card that reads "A pretzel to remind us of arms crossed in prayer is a Lenten treat for us to share!". I uploaded it to share with all of you, so you can print it for free below! :-)

All printable pages are my own artwork and are free for any not-for-profit use by individuals, families, or educational organizations. Copies may not be sold or reproduced for profit. If you'd like to post this project for others to find, I would ask that you link to my post and rather than my individual downloads. When printing or running copies, please do not remove my website from the bottom of the page. Thanks!
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  1. Great activity and I just LOVE the Lenten Pretzel Card! :)

  2. wow! I just found your blog and I love it! I will probably be using these little cards for my Women's Group Meeting I am hosting in March! Also, my children and I were planning to make pretzels and these will be perfect to reinforce the activity!

  3. Make sure you grease the cookie sheet! I found out the hard way, but they sure were yummy!!!

  4. I baked whole wheat pretzels on parchment paper last year for the first time ever. I also caught my oven on fire... not because of the parchment paper, though!

    I love the little pretzel cards to go w/ them - fun!

  5. How many pretzels does this make?

  6. So Cute! I love the card!

  7. I would love to do this for my boys' classes at Catholic school. Thanks for the great idea. So glad I found this blog.

  8. I'm a little curious why the recipe includes yeast if the idea was that pretzels were something that could be made within the fasting restrictions of the Lenten season (aka. no leavened bread). Do you have a recipe without yeast?

  9. I don't have a pretzel recipe without yeast. Maybe you could google it.

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