The Forum: Readers respond to pretzel maker

  • Thu Jul 29th, 2010 11:29am
  • Life

By Judyrae Kruse Herald olumnist

Two Forum cooks, bless their hearts, wasted not a single minute nailing down and firing off their nearly identical, tried-and-true recipes for the pretzels Shirley Lund of Silver Lake has been hoping to make again with her granddaughter.

“As one grandmother to another,” Terri Spencer of Lake Stevens writes, “I am happy to share my soft pretzel recipe.

“My kids loved making them and now my grandchildren do. It’s a quick and easy project — and healthy, too. For extra fun, I have colored the dough red (with red coloring added to the yeast water) and twisted with white dough for candy canes, and then green ones for St. Patrick’s Day twists. One recipe disappears quickly here!”

When Terri makes a batch, she uses 1 teaspoon of salt and bakes the pretzels at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Monroe pretzel person Sue Miller tells us, “This recipe comes from the early 1970s from the kid’s TV program ‘ZOOM.”’

Sue says to be sure to cover all the pretzel tops with the beaten egg, and adds, “When I made these with my son, he liked to shape his pretzels into letters and spell words.”

The pretzel dough at her house includes a tablespoon of salt and she bakes the batch at 425 degeees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

You’ll notice the different amounts of salt and the oven temperature are included in this recipe for:

Soft pretzels

1package (1 tablespoon) dry yeast

11/2 cups warm water

1-3teaspoons regular salt

1tablespoon sugar

4cups flour

1egg, beaten

Coarse salt for tops

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water, salt and sugar, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Mix in the flour, mixing ingredients together thoroughly.

Turn dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper and knead for a few minutes (little hands like this step) until it’s smooth. Cut off pieces of the dough and make them into the shapes you like, or twist them into shapes, but don’t make them too thick or they’ll be doughy. Not too thin, either.

Arrange the pretzels on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg, covering all of the tops. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and bake at 425 to 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Eat!

If that little project went together so fast you still have time to rattle around the kitchen for a little bit, and something yummy for dessert later sounds good, here’s the last of the dandy recipes for toffee bars Terry Brundage sent along a while back.

“Here’s another one that my mom made for us,” she says. “These bars are always a hit whenever I serve them.”

Toffee pecan bars

2cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1cup (2 cubes) butter, softened


1can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1teaspoon vanilla

1cup toffee pieces

1cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; press into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; stir in the toffee pieces and pecans. Spread evenly over the crust. Bake 25 minutes more or until golden brown. Cool completely, then cut into bars.

RSVP: Tina Gilles, please get in touch with me regarding the calzones.

The Forum is always happy to receive your contributions and requests, so don’t hesitate to send them along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

Please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Good Life section.