Chocolate Chunk Brioche Pretzels
While I love Pinterest for the most part, I don’t love how some recipes are repinned without checking if they lead to the actual recipe or just some arbitrary front page of more pictures and links. It’s a vicious, frustrating circle.
That is probably why I don’t pin very often and when I do it is usually 2 or 3 pins where I’ve been able to establish that it actually goes to a recipe and one that I can make because it doesn’t require a number of “ingredients” that are not available in South Africa. And on that note, in my opinion, it’s not really a recipe when it just combines so-and-so’s box mix with so-and-so’s filling/topping.
That said, when I do find a recipe and it meets all my criteria I do a little jig while I copy and paste and make plans to give it a try soon. Case in point is this recipe for Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels. I prefer to keep real chocolate in the house and not mini choc chips so that it how it became Chocolate Chunk Brioche Pretzels.
I had never made brioche before and I was suprised when it was such a soft dough and I had to stop myself from adding more flour to make it look more like bread dough. I used the dough hook from the beginning of the recipe and after it was kneaded for 5 minutes the dough did eventually become less sticky and oh-so soft the only problem is that it only makes 8 large pretzels that I had the family lining up for as they came out of the oven as they are best served warm.
The one pretzel I did manage to hide was reheated the next day in the microwave for 20 seconds on 100% power and was equally delicious. This definitely looks like a recipe that can be par baked for 5 minutes and frozen for a quick, easy delicious breakfast treat on a special weekend morning.
Oh, and I don’t think this pretzel is very well named because it has more of a buttery, almost croissant-like texture rather than a heavy bread feel. It also doesn’t require par boiling in bicarb water before baking. Since it is a yeast dough it does require a little planning ahead but it is so worth it 😉
560ml cake flour
10g instant yeast (1 sachet)
80ml milk, warmed
2 eggs, at room temperature
125ml butter, at room temperature
100g dark/milk chocolate roughly chopped
Mix together dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add milk and eggs. Mix on a low speed until dough begins to form. Increase speed to medium and allow the machine to run for about 5 minutes. Slowly add butter that you have chopped into smaller blocks. Beat well between each addition. Once all the butter has been incorporated add the chocolate chunks. Knead the dough on low speed until smooth. This is a soft, sticky dough so I would recommend you let the machine do the work as you might be tempted to add more flour if you are doing it by hand.
Once the dough is done (the sides of the bowl will be clear but the bottom of the bowl will still have a sticky dough residue) flour your hands well and remove dough from the bowl. Flour another bowl and place dough inside shaping it into a ball with your hands. As always, use your discretion. If it is super sticky add a little more flour just so you can handle it but don’t expect it to look like bread dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and wrap up in a blanket or a large tablecloth. Set aside to rise in an area free of cold drafts. The dough will double in volume within 2 hours.
After it has risen sufficiently remove from the bowl and place on a well floured surface. Knead very briefly and shape into a long roll. Slice this roll into 8 pieces and roll each of these pieces into a 15cm long rope. Take one end of the rope and fold it inwards to the center of the length. Take the other end and fold inwards to cross over the intersection of the rope and the first end. Transfer to baking sheet covered in a silicon mat or covered in baking paper. Repeat until you have folded all the pretzels. These do rise quite a bit so leave about 2.5cm between each one. Now you can prepare the glaze.
For the glaze:
1 eggs, beaten with fork
Mix together the above ingredients and set aside.
25ml white/brown sugar for sprinkling
Brush each pretzel with the egg, water and salt mixture and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Just before placing in the oven, brush each pretzel with egg mixture again and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown. Leave to rest on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to cool further on a wire rack. Serve warm with some hot coffee or orange juice.