Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pretzels, Nachos and our Third Culture Kids

Selah is studying Tolstoy right now.  She and I read through his short folktale "Three Rolls and a Pretzel" yesterday, so we decided to invite a few friends over and make homemade pretzels.

  I casually overheard a great third culture kid conversation (those of you unfamiliar with that term, it is a term used to define a child who is living in a culture different from their parents.  They can't completely identify with their parent's culture (the US), but also aren't completely blended into their home culture (China), therefore creating a 3rd culture).  Anyway, here's how the conversation went:

L: I've never had pretzels like this.  When we visited America last year, we never had these kind.

A:  Ya, me neither.  (thinking hard for a minute)  But I have had nachos.

L: (also taking a second to think)  Ya, I've had nachos too.

I laughed so hard to myself hearing them relate these pretzels to nachos.  So random and yet so fitting for their lifestyles.

These really were great pretzels.  They taste pretty close to the ones you get in the mall to appease a crying child while you shop.  Here's the recipe:


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt


  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.

***If you have a bread maker, just throw everything in and turn it on.

  1. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. Line 6 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place onto parchment covered baking sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.

It's a great recipe for little hands too.  And for mom's who get to take bites of  each child's pretzel and then tell herself that she didn't eat any.
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