Pretzels are knot shaped baked pastries made from dough. You will find this pastry either soft or crunchy. Pretzels are generally served with salt topping; hence, it tastes sour. The basic ingredients of this dish are flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Moreover, lye is used to give it a dark tone and a different flavor. Pretzels are a go-to snack for health-conscious noshers because of its low-fat content.
The Pretzel snack can last long on the shelf because of its low moisture. However, the softer version is a little moister and does not have long shelf life comparably.
A Brief History of Pretzels
If we read the early history of pretzels, we find that the Catholic Church was the main player. During Lent, pretzels were the perfect meal as they were made up of simple ingredients like wheat, salt, and water. This was because meat, eggs, and all types of dairy were forbidden in those days.
In the beginning, the pretzels were like soft bread, almost similar to what we have today. According to many historians, the pretzels were initially called ‘Bracellae.’ It is a Latin word and means ‘small arms.’ And, the Germans derived the word ‘Bretzel’ from ‘Bracellae.’ On the other hand, many historians believe that the dish was called ‘Pretiolas,’ which means ‘little rewards.’ The pastries were given by priests to those who recited the verses correctly.
According to a popular theory, pretzels got dominance during the 17th century. Furthermore, it is noted that pretzels did the work of ‘Wishbones’ in the royal wedding of Switzerland. Moreover, on the New Year eve, the kids in Germany wore pretzels to express good luck for the next year.
In the 17th century, German immigrants brought pretzels to America, and in 1861 the first bakery producing pretzels was established in Pennsylvania by Julius Sturgis. The pretzels were handmade until the 1930s. But later in 1935 many establishments started automated production.
Nutritional facts of pretzels
The basic ingredient for making pretzels is flour, hence they are high in carbohydrates and fiber. They have low-fat content, as a small quantity of oil is enough to give them the required texture. A serving of pretzels (28 grams) provides 106 calories.
Health Benefits of Eating Pretzels
The plus point is that the pretzels have high fiber content. Fiber is a healthy micro-nutrient as it enhances gut health and more importantly relieves constipation. Moreover, because of its wheat content, pretzels provide some quantities of B-vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, folate, and niacin.
Side effects of Pretzels
Yes, pretzels are a lot healthier than other snacks such as fried chips. Nevertheless, there are some disbenefits as well. Pretzels are simply made from wheat, which means that they don’t have a lot of nutrients to offer. Furthermore, pretzels are made from refined wheat. Refined wheat provides simple carbohydrates and the body rapidly breaks down these carbohydrates into simple energy; resulting in slow digestion. However, whole-wheat pretzels would be a healthier option.
Recipe for Making Delish Pretzels
Ingredients required for making Pretzels:
- 12 ounces of warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 ounces butter
- 80 ounces of water
- 1 egg
- 5 ounces baking soda
- 21 ounces refined flour
How to make Pretzels?
- Prepare a mixture of salt, water, and sugar with the help of a beater. Add yeast to this mixture and mix again. Give this mixture a few minutes and wait until the mixture gets the foam texture. Now add this mixture and butter to the flour and make the dough. You will have to knead the dough until it gets smooth; approximately 6 to 7 minutes will be enough. Get the dough out of the bowl and clean it. Now oil the bowl and put the dough back into it. Cap the bowl or seal its top with plastic and leave it until the dough doubles in volume.
- Preheat the oven to 233 Celsius. Put two pans aside, wrap their surface with baking paper and oil the surface with oil.
- Boil 80 ounces of water, add baking soda, and stir for few minutes.
- Now bring the dough to an oiled surface. Divide the dough into pieces and make strips of each piece. Take a portion of this strip and give it a U-shape. Now intertwist the ends of the U to make pretzels.
- Keep each pretzel in boiling water for 30 seconds. Then put the boiled pretzels on an oiled pan and brush them with beaten egg. Furthermore, sprinkle salt on the top. Finally, the pretzels are ready to be baked. Bake until the color turns brown. Let the temperature of the pretzels come down before serving.
Pretzels are a delightful snack and are enjoyed in a number of ways. Aren’t you craving snacks? If yes, then why not pretzels today?
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