Crusty, salty home made soft pretzels, hot from the oven.


Recognize rule #39? Of course you do – it’s from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, An Eater’s Manual.  I don’t know about you, but life is plenty complicated as it is – the rules in this book are just my speed.

“There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking a soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. 


The french fry did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes –  and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much work.


The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream.  Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them – chances are good it won’t be every day.”


I like it. Plus, I can be sure the ingredients are of the quality and provenance I choose.

Soft pretzels are a perfect real food snack for a non-industrial pantry. For lots of reasons.  They’re baked, not fried.  They’re wholesome & filling. And pretty yummy if I do say so myself.

I love this recipe based on one in The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook. Love her or hate her, when it comes to real, good, timeless food, Martha delivers. Really, I don’t know why this book is handicapped with the holiday label – it’s a great reference for any special cooking occasion, all year-long.

This recipe has a secret: poaching the pretzels in water & baking soda for that critical chewy exterior just like the commercially baked ones. Click here for the printable recipe.

I’ll let Martha show you how to twist those pretzels:

Pretzels poached, shaped, brushed with egg wash & sprinkled with salt.


Stock the freezer with a double batch and you’re ready for anything…

I like to make this recipe all the way to just before baking, freeze the unbaked pretzels overnight in a single layer, then package the frozen pretzels two to a small freezer bag.

Later, you can bake them up straight from the freezer in just 15 minutes for a warm, salty, crusty treat perfect with mustard or cheese sauce.

Fast Food of the Slow Kind… stretching the Food Rules??

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday. What’s that you ask? It’s an ambitious and enlightening collection of posts from bloggers all over about issues near and dear to my heart: real food and natural living. Check it out!