A full month of posts to celebrate the Christmastide season. Stories, traditions, recipes, videos, games and a giveaway to fill your Yuletide with Regency Era fun. Click here for a list of all the previous posts.
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One of my family's favorite tradition is for my husband to make Christmas breakfast for everyone. When we first started doing this our boys were small. My husband decided he wanted to make a New Year's Pretzel for breakfast.
Naturally, I asked what a New Year's Pretzel was and he gave me that special look that asked 'have you lost your mind?' Since my mental faculties were indeed intact, I insisted that I had never heard of such a thing. How was that possible--surely everyone know what a New Year's pretzel was, he insisted.
After a bit of research, we discovered New Year's Pretzels were not actually very common. In fact, the tradition of the New Year's Pretzel is unique to his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio. It dates from the turn of the 20th century. Sandusky became home to a very large German population that brought the holiday tradition to the community. (Read more here). Though a New Year's Pretzel is usually eaten...wait for it...on New Year's day, we enjoy it on Christmas morning, when all the kids are home together with us. Here's a demonstration of how to make a New Year's Pretzel.
Here's a recipe to make your own New Year's Pretzel.
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
2 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
7 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/4 cup almonds or walnuts, chopped
Add eggs and 1 more cup of flour. Beat 2 minutes. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again until doubled, another 1 hour. Divide dough in half.
Roll one piece of dough into a rope (apprx.30" long and 1 1/2" in diameter). Form a pretzel shape by forming a loop, crossing the length of dough and tucking the loose ends onto the large loop. Alternately, twist or braid the dough. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Let rise 15 minutes. Bake 375 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
Mix powdered sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing. Spread on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
If you've had a New Year's pretzel or would like to, let me know in the comments!
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