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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

 I get so excited about new cookbooks.  Especially if it’s written by one of my favorite blogs….which it totally is.  I’ve been following Deb’s blog Smitten Kitchen for years now, and was so thrilled that she released her first book.  I recommended to Marlina that she should pick it up when she visited this past weekend, and so she surprised me with the book.  I love it when she visits!  We went shopping, had a ladies night with our friend Kerri, and started some Christmas Crafts… yes we are eager beavers.

I love pretzels, and was intrigued that this one included chocolate chips.  Everything tastes much better with chocolate!!  I love the addition of the orange zest; I never really thought it would go well together.  The brioche (my first time making it!) is a light, buttery bread…I must make it again sometime soon.  I’m totally hooked!

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels
Makes 8 pretzels (about 4 inches in size)

1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
½ teaspoon instant yeast
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup well chopped chocolate
½ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1 large egg
½ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon water

Coarse or pearl sugar (for finishing)

In a small dish, whisk together the milk and yeast until dissolved.

In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the eggs and yeast mixture, mix at low speed until the dough comes together, resembling a shaggy pile. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 10 minutes so that it creates soft, stretchy strands.

Add in the butter, 1/3 at a time, mixing to ensure full incorporation with the dough. Switch to the dough attachment and mix on low for about 5 minutes until a silky smooth dough forms. Stir in the chocolate and orange zest until incorporated.

Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for approximately 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Deflate the dough and divide evenly into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into an 18-inch rope on a lightly floured surface. Make a u-shape with the rope and draw the ends of together to form a circle. Twist the rope ends together and bring the loose ends of the rope to the five and seven o’clock position on the base. Repeat with remaining pretzels and place on the prepared baking sheet, brushing them with the glaze. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Brush the pretzels with the glaze one more time and place in oven and bake for 12 minutes, until puffed and lightly bronzed. Cool slightly and serve.

Source: slightly adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

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