Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzel vs. Mix Master

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Brioche killed my Mix Master. Well, it didn’t kill the mixer but it might as well have. My big boy sounds like it got struck by a series of stroke/seizure of some sort and now appears paralyzed.

I am heartbroken. But I’m sure a call to the manufacturer on Monday will sort my less than 6-months old boy out. *fingers crossed*

(So I called Sunbeam and have been advised that my unit comes with a ’12 Month Replacement Guarantee’. Therefore, I can just bring it back to the store and have it exchanged for a brand new one. Yep, just like that. Well played, Sunbeam. Consider me very impressed. Let’s hope this new one won’t chuck a tantrum after another brioche batch!)

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See, I may be a cupcake killer, but the brioche paralyzed my mixer. The brioche wins, hands down.

Anyways, I knew making these God-sent brioche pretzels will be tough (and come at a price!). Brioche is known to require lots of kneading. The longer kneading is what gives the bread its very different soft and stretchy texture. Did I mention the buttery goodness in every bite? What about Smitten Kitchen’s outrageous idea to add chocolate chip? I officially idolized this woman. She knows the way to my heart.

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Oh well, I guess for now, I’ll revert back to the hand mixer which somehow managed to survive the last batch of brioche.

I guess this is the price to pay for adding chocolate chip to such amazing goodness to make it even better – totally out of this world!

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The only difference I will make to this recipe I got from Smitten Kitchen’s cookbook is… if you’re going to add the chocolate chip, let’s go all out. Let’s live dangerously. Let’s increase the 1 cup of chocolate chip to 1 ½ cups. Maybe even 2. Okay, maybe that’s just greedy.

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Do you dare take the risk?

Life’s too short to constantly be taking the safer/easier road and miss out on the returns of taking risks with chocolate.

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I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? You put on a fraction of a percent of fat in your body. Nothing a 15 to 20 minutes run cannot fix.

So, here’s my proposal: We go for a run then settle down on a nice scenic spot with a brioche and a hot cup of coffee each. I’ll bring the brioche and coffee.

Deal?

*****

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s Cookbook

yield: eight 4-inch pretzels

for the dough:
1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) well- chopped chocolate (for the best chocolate flavor) or miniature chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (optional, but lovely if you’re into that
chocolate-orange thing)

for the glaze:
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon water
Coarse or pearl sugar, for finishing

Make brioche: Whisk the milk and yeast together in a small dish until the yeast has dissolved. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, stir together fl our, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs and the yeast mixture, and mix at a low speed until the dough comes together in a shaggy pile. Raise the speed to medium, and beat for 10 minutes; the long mixing time creates the soft, stretchy strands brioche is known for. Add the butter, a third at a time, mixing the dough between additions. Now switch to the dough hook, and knead at low speed until a silky- smooth dough forms, another 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and zest, if using, and run the machine until it is mixed into the dough.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, until almost doubled. Alternatively, you can rest the dough in the fridge overnight (or up to 24 hours), bring back to room temperature, and let the rise complete before continuing to the next step.

Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat your oven to 175°C.

Form pretzels: Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into eight pieces, about 3 1/4 ounces (93 grams) each. Working with one piece at a time, roll each piece into an 18-inch-long rope about 1/2 inch thick. Curiously, I find these ropes easier to roll and stretch on an unfloured or very lightly oiled surface, but if you find yours sticking too much, lightly fl our your counter before continuing.

To form the pretzel, draw the ends of a rope together to form a circle. About 2 inches from both ends, twist the rope ends together to close the circle– a full twist, so that the rope end that started on the right side finishes there. Fold the twist down into the circle, adhering the loose ends of the rope at five and seven o’clock on the base. Repeat to make eight pretzel twists. Transfer them to prepared baking sheets, brush them with glaze, and let them rest for about 15 minutes, during which they’ll puff slightly again.

To finish: Brush pretzels with glaze one more time, sprinkle with pearl or coarse sugar, then bake for 12 minutes, or until puffed and lightly bronzed. Cool slightly on a rack before serving, if you can bear it.

Snax’s Note:

  • I chose to not use orange zest in my brioche.
  • I also opt out on the course or pearl sugar because I didn’t have any.
  • Mine did take longer than 12 minutes to bake – approximately 20 minutes.
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