Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

Lightly sweet, with a touch of salt and plenty of chocolate, these Chocolate Chip Brioche pretzels are sure to put a smile on your face.

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels - easy to make, with a surprise ingredient! | Kristine's Kitchen

You can consider these Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, or snack time, as we did. For a very long time now, I have wanted to make chocolate croissants. I think it started when I was craving them while pregnant with William. Somehow, since then I’ve never found the time needed to make homemade croissants. I know, how can that be? But don’t worry, these Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels are the next best thing.

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels - easy to make, with a surprise ingredient! | Kristine's Kitchen

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These pretzels are made of a very lightly sweetened brioche dough. Chopped chocolate chips- I used Ghirardelli bittersweet- add a touch more sweetness, and if you love the chocolate-orange combination then I highly recommend adding a little orange zest. Sprinkle on a little sea salt before baking and you have a slightly sweet, slightly salty treat. If, like I was, you aren’t sure how to shape your pretzels, I’ve included step-by-step photos of the shaping process below. Someday I will find the time to make those croissants, but for now I am very content to have these pretzels.

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Okay, back to pretzel-making.

To shape your pretzels, start by rolling each piece of dough into an 18-inch long rope.  Then, pull the ends of the rope upwards and together to form a circle.Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels - easy to make, with a surprise ingredient! | Kristine's Kitchen

About 2 inches from both ends, twist the rope ends together to close the circle. Make a full twist, so that the rope end that started on the right side finishes there.

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels - easy to make, with a surprise ingredient! | Kristine's Kitchen

Fold the twist down into the circle, placing the ends of the rope at five and seven o’clock on the pretzel base.  (Yes, I had a little helper when making these.)  🙂

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels - easy to make, with a surprise ingredient! | Kristine's Kitchen

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels - easy to make, with a surprise ingredient! | Kristine's Kitchen

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

Lightly sweet, with a touch of salt and plenty of chocolate, these Chocolate Chip Brioche pretzels are sure to put a smile on your face.

Printable Recipe

Makes 8 four-inch pretzels

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 8 tbsp. (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (4.5 ounces or 127 grams) well- chopped chocolate
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated orange zest (optional)

For the glaze & topping:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. water
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Make the brioche: Place the milk in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup and warm briefly, until it reaches 110 degrees F. Whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and table salt, mixing on low speed. Add the eggs and the yeast mixture; mix on low speed until the dough comes together in a shaggy pile. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 10 minutes; this long mixing time creates the soft, stretchy strands brioche is known for.
  3. Add the butter, a third at a time, mixing the dough between additions. Switch to the dough hook and knead at low speed for 5 minutes, until a silky-smooth dough forms. Add the chopped chocolate and orange zest, if using, and mix on low until evenly distributed.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, until almost doubled. (Alternatively, you can let the dough rest in the fridge overnight, then bring back to room temperature, and let the rise complete before continuing.)
  5. Form the pretzels: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Gently deflate the dough. Divide it into eight equal pieces, about 3 ¼ ounces (93 grams) each. Working on a clean, un-floured counter (lightly oil it if the dough sticks), roll each dough piece into an 18-inch long rope.
  7. To form a pretzel, pull the ends of the rope upwards and together to form a circle. About 2 inches from both ends, twist the rope ends together to close the circle. Make a full twist, so that the rope end that started on the right side finishes there. Fold the twist down into the circle, placing the ends of the rope at five and seven o’clock on the pretzel base. Repeat to make eight pretzels. Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Make the glaze by beating together the egg and the teaspoon of water with a fork. Brush glaze on pretzels and let them rest for 15 minutes. Brush pretzels with glaze a second time and sprinkle with sea salt and coarse sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned. Cool slightly and serve warm.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

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