Heart Shaped Soft Pretzels with Pink Sea Salt

By food contributor Sarah

Valentines Day is about acknowledging those you love – maybe it’s with flowers, chocolates, or a sweet note but I think a homemade treat from your own kitchen is the utmost romantic gesture.

These Heart Shaped Soft Pretzels with Pink Salt are a great gift for the special guy in your life as they are more masculine than candy but are still lovey-dovey enough to make the day special. Wrap them up with a jar of fancy mustard and a bear of honey for dipping and you’ve hit a home run.

Heart Shaped Soft Pretzels with Pink Salt
makes about 15 depending on size

1 and 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
4 – 4.5 cups flour (I used a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and all purpose for more bite)
1 large egg
Course sea salt for sprinkling, either Hawaiian red salt or Himalayan pink salt (you can find these at upscale markets and most Whole Foods)

1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2. Dissolve yeast in warm water using a wooden spoon. Stir in salt and sugar.  Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time, while mixing with a wooden spoon.  Add enough flour so the dough is no longer sticky.

3. Plop the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes then shape into a ball.

4. Grab a small handful of dough – about 3 tablespoons and using your hands, roll it into a snake. Fold the coil into a heart and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

5. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork.  Brush the pretzels with egg and sprinkle with red or pink salt.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Turn the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.

7. Allow to cool slightly then serve warm or at room temperature with mustard and honey for dipping. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 4 days (will lose softness).  Pretzels freeze well.

Comments

Made these for my 3rd grade class with cinnamon sugar on top for Valentine’s Day. They were a hit. Thanks so much.

I made these tonight and they were terrible. I’m not sure what the problem was, but they were so dense and floury.

Cathleen – I’m so sorry! It could be a variety of things. First, the yeast could have been bad. Sometimes I get a bad packet of yeast and the bread doesn’t rise. Also, whole wheat flours vary depending on brand so yours could have been on the coarser side? Lastly, I eat a very whole wheat based diet and am used to dense breads (not fluffy) so if this is too heavy try entirely all purpose flour.

I hate when things get frustrating in the kitchen! Good luck!

I was wondering about the yeast too, although it was in date. I did try the 50/50 w/wheat. Maybe I was just expecting it to taste a certain way, and it didn’t. It seemed like it was dry. I only added 4 cups of flour, and thought that especially after 5 minutes of kneading, it was dry. I’m not sure. Maybe I will try it again. The pictures here looked so much better than mine. Thanks for the tips.

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We so love your idea! And we agree that V day is not only about chocolate (though yuuum), strawberries and flowers. A yummy (even salty) homemade treat can go a long way!
We’ll give these a go in few days 🙂

Great idea! I’ve heard, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” this looks like the perfect way to get there 🙂

ah, these are so perfect with the addition of pink salt. now i have a valid reason to go out and buy some!

We have been using a recipe from Highlights magazine for years and last Valentine’s Day made hearts and “xoxo” soft pretzels for dad using pink sea salt and sesame seeds. He loved them!

You don’t have to proof the yeast or let them rise? Sounds too good to be true!

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