Heart-Shaped Soft Pretzels are all the rage right now, didn’t you know?! I made these for Abby’s class Valentine’s Day celebration, and then again for my Love-themed menu for Family Dinner Book Club. Definitely serve these with cheese fondue or nacho cheese sauce. You can do mustard if you swing that way. I know that’s a winning flavor combination for many people, but I am not a mustard lover!
So how do you take your pretzels? Cheese or mustard? Salt or no salt? I like them salted and with nacho cheese sauce the best. Growing up, in my pickier days, I would ask for the pretzel salted and then pick off the salt because I thought that was too much salt. Hahaha.
You can shape these pretzels into anything you want. I think the hearts are darling, but you can also do normal pretzel twists, mini bites, or knots. If you invent a new pretzel shape I would love to see it! I bet a cat head would be fairly simple. Unicorn head? Poop emoji? See, the sky is the limit.
1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
coarse sea salt or pretzel salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the warm water and the honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer running on low, mix in the butter and salt. Gradually add the flour until well combined.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a towel, and let sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450F degrees. Line 2 sheet trays with Silpats.
In a large saucepan, Bring the 10 cups of water and baking soda to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half, and then divide each half into 10 equal portions.
Roll out each piece of dough into a 20-inch rope. Fold the rope in half, and pinch the center together to form the bottom tip of a heart. Twist the ends of the rope together to form a heart shape. Place the hearts on the Silpat-lined sheet trays.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds each, remove with a slotted spoon, and then return to the sheet trays.
Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt.
Bake until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and serve with cheese sauce or fondue.