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.
- 3 cups (110-115F degrees) warm water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 envelopes (1 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 9 cups all-purpose flour
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 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.