Hey y’all! It’s officially Christmas break for me! Done with finals and the fall semester! Say hello to sleeping in, tons of Netflix, family time and lots of baking! I baked these soft pretzels the night after one of the most difficult final exams. Getting in the kitchen and making something delicious really clears my mind and makes me (…and my friends who get the treats) so happy!
I’m going to warn you now, these pretzels are time consuming. You have to prep earlier in the day to allow the dough to rise and all that jazz but they are so worth it. I hadn’t ever made anything with yeast in it before so this was a first for me and I can definitely say that I’m going to want to make some more “bread” products in the future!
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
To make the dough, whisk the milk and yeast together in a dish until the yeast has dissolved. With your electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. To this mixture, add the eggs and the milk/yeast mixture. Mix this all together until it forms into a shaggy pile. At this point, add the softened butter, eggs, and chocolate chips and mix for 5-7 minutes on medium speed (this step allows for the dough to develop the stretchy strands brioche is so well known for). After the 5-7 minutes, switch to the paddle attachment and beat for another 5 minutes until a dough ball forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (I just used vegetable oil), cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm spot for at least 2 hours and at most 12 hours. The dough should have at least doubled in size. If you make this dough the night before, you can leave it in the fridge overnight and then when you need to use it the next day, allow it to come back to room temperature before continuing to the next step.
After the dough has risen, line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
To form the pretzels, gently deflate the dough and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on a clean surface to about 18 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Since the dough was a bit oiled from the bowl, I found it quit easy to role the dough but if you need some extra flour because the dough is a bit sticky, by all means, go for it.
Here comes the part everyone gets a little nervous about: the twisting of the pretzel. Y’all I promise it’s not that hard! To form the pretzel, form a circle with the dough. With the two ends, make a twist in the middle and fold the twist down into the circle, adhering the loose ends of the rope at five and seven o’clock on the base. Transfer them to prepared baking sheets with the parchment paper, brush them with glaze (instructions for the glaze: mix it all together!), and let them rest for about 15 minutes. This allows the dough to rise a bit more after deflating them during formation of the pretzels. Before putting the pretzels into the oven, sprinkle with a bit of salt and sugar. Cook for 17 minutes at 350 degrees or until the bottom of the pretzels in a golden brown.
They come out of the oven and I promise you they will be gone in an instant!