Even though Alan and I aren’t hugely into Valentine’s Day (I can’t remember ever going out for the night), this year I decided to surprise him with a tasty snack: buttery soft pretzels and Izze sodas (his favorite). The pretzels were really easy to make, so good, and so much better than stuffed animals and over-the-top bouquets, if I do say so myself. And since I’ve been really into learning Photoshop recently, I borrowed a line from Keith Sweat and designed a Valentine’s card to match the occasion.
Adapted from allrecipes.com
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup salt for topping
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
- When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.