Lenten Pretzel Recipe (And A Printable Pretzel Prayer Poem)

Did you know that the pretzel is a traditional food for lent? In fact, the pretzel was actually invented in order to be a simple Lenten snack! You can find all of my holy week food ideas for kids here. Today, I am going to share my favorite Lenten pretzel recipe with you, as well as a printable card with the pretzel prayer. 
Lenten Pretzels Recipe


When early Christians would pray, they would cross their arms and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand. They also fasted very strictly during lent, making their bread with only water, flour, and salt. A monk shaped this in the form of praying arms for children, and the pretzel was born! To read more about the religious history of the pretzel and for the pretzel prayer, check out Catholic Culture’s pretzel page.

Happy child crossing arms and a pretzel

This recipe and more are in my new cookbook for families– The Symbolic Holy Week & Easter Cookbook! This cookbook includes 23 recipes that point to the true meaning of Easter. It also includes 29 pages of bonus printables! You do not want to miss this amazing resource. 

The Symbolic Holy Week and Easter Cookbook

Lenten Pretzel Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 package yeast (.25 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • extra salt for the tops- large salt works best!

Mix your yeast, water, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, and knead until the dough is smooth. Shape into the form of arms crossed in prayer and place it on a baking sheet.

Hands shaping pretzel

Brush the dough with a beaten egg to give it a shiny finish. Sprinkle the top with salt, and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

There is a printable version of this recipe at the bottom of the post.

Unbaked pretzel on tray

Here they are all baked!

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Baked Pretzel Pile

The big salt definitely takes this Lenten pretzel recipe to the next level. 

Baked Pretzel

New And Improved Lente Pretzel Printable

I made a pack with a Lenten Pretzel Card that reads “A pretzel to remind us of arms crossed in prayer is a Lenten treat for us to share!”. 

Lenten Pretzel Card

The pack also includes the story of the origin of the pretzel, a page that can go into your Weaving The Faith liturgical binder, and a super cute Lenten pretzel recipe card with the special poem on it. You can grab your Lenten pretzel recipe download here for just $2.

Buy Now

Pretzels for Lent recipe
I also have a how to draw a pretzel video so your kids can create their own pretzel prayer cards! It’s totally free on YouTube so check that out now!

All printable pages are my own artwork and can be used for any not-for-profit use by individuals, families, or educational organizations. Copies may not be sold or reproduced for profit. If you’d like to post this project for others to find, I would ask that you link to my post rather than my individual downloads. When printing or running copies, please do not remove my website from the bottom of the page. Thanks!

You’ll find all of my Lenten resources for kids here
More Lenten Resources for Kids
The Symbolic Holy Week and Easter Cookbook

Lenten Soft Pretzel Recipe

Did you know that the pretzel is a traditional food for lent? In fact, the pretzel was actually invented in order to be a simple Lenten snack! Enjoy this simple soft pretzel recipe during Lent.
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lenten recipes, pretzels
Author: Lacy


  • 1 package yeast .25 oz
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • extra salt for the top of the pretzels large kosher salt works best!


  • Preheat your oven to 425°F
  • Mix yeast, water, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the flour, and knead until the dough is smooth.
  • Shape into the form of arms crossed in prayer and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Brush the dough with a beaten egg to give it a shiny finish. (This is optional. I skipped the egg on mine.) Sprinkle the top with salt.
  • Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.


The yield on this recipe depends on how large or small you make your pretzels. However, I would suggest making 5 - 6 pretzels with this recipe.


  1. Amazing_Grace says

    Great activity and I just LOVE the Lenten Pretzel Card! 🙂

  2. Alicia@Playing With Paper says

    wow! I just found your blog and I love it! I will probably be using these little cards for my Women's Group Meeting I am hosting in March! Also, my children and I were planning to make pretzels and these will be perfect to reinforce the activity!

  3. Make sure you grease the cookie sheet! I found out the hard way, but they sure were yummy!!!

  4. I baked whole wheat pretzels on parchment paper last year for the first time ever. I also caught my oven on fire… not because of the parchment paper, though!

    I love the little pretzel cards to go w/ them – fun!

  5. How many pretzels does this make?

  6. So Cute! I love the card!

  7. I would love to do this for my boys' classes at Catholic school. Thanks for the great idea. So glad I found this blog.

  8. Anonymous says

    I'm a little curious why the recipe includes yeast if the idea was that pretzels were something that could be made within the fasting restrictions of the Lenten season (aka. no leavened bread). Do you have a recipe without yeast?

  9. Lacy @ Catholic Icing says

    I don't have a pretzel recipe without yeast. Maybe you could google it.

  10. Theresa (Children's Minister) says

    Thanks so much for the Pretzel Card. I’m going to have our 1st Communicants attach these to store-bought mini-pretzels to distribute to everyone who comes to Ash Wednesday Mass. This will be their service project for the parish. Blessings for a beautiful Lent.

  11. Melissa White says

    Hi, Lacy.

    I’m planning on sharing the pretzel story with for children’s liturgy. I cannot get the pretzel cards to print without scribd wanting to charge me. Is there a way around that?

  12. So fun! How many does the recipe make? I’m going to do this with my boys’ classes at school and just trying to get an idea of his many batches to prepare for. Any tips on doing this with a large group of kindergarteners? Maybe just lots of prayers!? 🙂 Thanks!

    • It really depends on how large you make your pretzels, but I’d say it makes about 5. No tips on cooking with large groups of kids. I’m more of a crafter myself. 😉

  13. I was looking for a lent activity for my 3rd and 4th grade CCD class to do and this is perfect! Thanks!!!

    Yeast is only forbidden during Passover, not all of lent, I believe. That’s why our host is unleavened bread, because the last supper was during passover. All the recipes I’ve seen without yeast have egg and milk, which are not part of a traditional lenten diet.

  14. I made these for my 1st grade class for lent. I described these as “the food that represents praying”. I hope that they will never look at a pretzel again without being reminded to pray as well as pass the word to pray. I have 16 kids in the class so I cut the dough evenly making 16 – 3″ X 4” pretzels . I have made this recipe 3 times now. Wheat flour doesn’t work work well (kind of have to force it into shape and has a strong wheat taste). AP flour is very forgiving and the less it’s worked with the less stretchy it is and smoother it stays. I also found that placing a damp paper towel over the dough stopped it from drying out too quickly before I worked with it (I live in Colorado). I used kosher salt and I’ve used cinnamon raw sugar; yummy either way. Good Luck everybody and may God bless your baking.

  15. Angie H. says

    Found this activity on your site & loved it! We made pretzels today & will eat them at dinner tonight. Also going to use the prayer on Catholic Culture for my kids. Thanks!!! Great site!

  16. Sarah Kroger says

    Eeeek! The recipe says a tablespoon of salt! Pretty sure it should be a teaspoon! I looked at another recipe because it doesn’t say above how to divide the dough and saw the discrepancy.

    • Noted and fixed! I think that it was for extra salt to put on the tops, but the recipe didn’t say that. In any case, corrected now. Thank you!

  17. Should I use the .25 or .75 oz yeast packet?

    Thank you!

  18. Julie Wilson says

    Has anyone tried to substitute with gluten free flour? Are there other ingredients that would need to be added?

  19. Hi
    Thank you for all your sweet ideas to help my nursery students love and understand our Lord. I can’t find the pretzel prayer download. Please help. I am signed up for your emails. Thank you

  20. No rise time on these?
    Thanks! 🙂


  1. […] 2.       Bake Lenten Pretzels.  Teaching your children the Story of the Pretzel is a great way to show them just what a profound impact our Faith has had on the culture at large.  Then, keep them active and engaged in the season by taking time to bake Lenten pretzels together as a family.  A delicious recipe can be found here. […]

  2. […] Make Pretzels: They symbolize arms crossed in prayer. Find out more here. […]

  3. […] also has an awesome printable for pretzels during Lent on Catholic Icing that you might want to […]