Pretzels (covrigi)



pretzel (known as Brezel in German) is a type of baked food made from dough, originating in Europe. You can do it with various glazes and some seeds . Their size goes from large enough for one to be a sufficient serving to much smaller.
 German speakers call this one "Laugenbrezel" (lye pretzel) because it is dipped in  lye solution (NaOH) before baking. 
There are numerous accounts on the origin of the looped pretzels, as well as the origin of the name;but  ...an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers.  From Sweden to German, From Louxemburg to US, from France to Romania...pretzel is the bread 'brand' what opens the door of hearts.
During the Christmas, in a small village from Bihor County, Romania, these pretzels are a supreme reward for those who sing carols. This ancient custom is still preserved along the Christmas days in that part of the country.
I made a recipe I found searching the internet. Easy and simple to do, with a taste what reminds me by those pretzels I aet many years ago, on Lipscani in my  Bucharest holiday- summers...
Here is the link of the recipe I made (it worths all the money, you must believe me). Thank you Michelle.


I changed a little the recipe  and...
Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup warm water (it depends by the flour you use for this recipe)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp active yeast (I used a packed dried type)

1. Mix all together. Knead the dough, cover it and let it sit in a warm place for 30-40 minutes(or till doubled its volume).
2. Meanwhile, mix well 2 tbs baking soda(bicarbonate) in a cup of boiling water.
3. Divide the rised dough in 9 or 10 pieces(we are a big family made from 3 people, LOL ! ) what are shaped in strings. After that, these strings will be modeled in the form of pretzels, or, as a rig shape, or...as you wish.Let pretzels stay for 5 minutes. 
4. Put them in that baking soda mixture and let them there for 2 minute. Remove then and drain the extra liquid from pretzels.Put them in a baking pan.
5. Sprinkle with salt , poppy, cumin or sesami seeds. Let again to rest for 10 minutes.
6. Bake pretzels in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
7. Remove them from the baking pan an brush their surface with melted butter.
Great, isn't it ?

Romanian version:
3 cani faina
1 1/2 cana apa calduta
1 l-ta sare
1 l-ta zahar
3 l-te drojdie uscata (eu asta am folosit)

1. Amesteca-le toate. framinta aluatul si lasa-l sa stea la loc caldut pina-si dubleaza volumul.
2. Intre timp amesteca bine 2 l-te bicarbonat de sodiu intr-o cana de apa clocotind.
3. Imparte aluatul in 9-10 bucati [suntem familie mare formata din 3 persoane, :))....] si da-le forma de corzi. Din aceste corzi se vor modela covrigii, dindu-le ce forma vreti.Lasa-i sa stea pentru 5 minute.
4. Pune covrigii (cu partea neteda in jos) in mixtura cu bicarbonat si lasa-i acolo pt. 2 minute.Scoate-i si scurge tot lichidul de pe ei. Pune-i in tava de copt.
5. Presara-i cu sare, mac, chimin sau susan sa.Lasa-i sa stea 10 minute.
6. Coace covrigii in cuptorul preincalzit, pentru 8-10 minutes.
7. Scoate-i din tava si pensuleaza-i cu unt topit.






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