Friday, 31 May 2013

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

A while ago I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to make pretzels for Yahoo! - and although I'd made them a few times before that, now it seems, we can't get enough of them.  I loved the soft, fluffy dough, the dark, salty crust, their chewiness.  And then I went and dipped them in chocolate.

I realise it's nothing new, dipping pretzels in chocolate - you could dip them in cinnamon sugar instead, or leave them as they are and eat them with wholegrain mustard for a savoury treat. You can even wrap the dough thinly around a frankfurter before baking for a pretzel dog. But if you love the salty-sweet combination, here it is. I've used half milk and half plain chocolate because it adds so much flavour - the milk chocolate giving sweetness and the plain chocolate that heady cocoa rush.

Chocolate covered pretzels - would you?

Makes 6
1 x sachet (7g) fast action dried yeast
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
50g light brown sugar
500g strong white bread flour
225ml lukewarm water
4 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg

1. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, the 1 tbsp sea salt flakes and the brown sugar. Tip in the water and mix (best to use your hands) until it forms a dough.

2. Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes, until it's stretchy and soft. Put into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave for one hour to rise in a warm place (I use the airing cupboard) until about doubled in size. 

3. After the dough has risen, cut into 6.

4. Take one of the pieces of dough and roll it out into a rope shape - I like my pretzels chunky but if you like the clearly defined knot of a pretzel then roll it out super-thin.

5. Twist the two ends of the dough 'rope' over each other twice. Now bring the top half over so that the two ends are on the circular bit at the bottom. Moisten your fingers with water and use them to stick the pretzel in place.

6. Lay out the pretzels on a greaseproofed-baking tray and leave them to rise again for half an hour. Boil the kettle and tip the bicarb into a bowl.
7. Once the kettle's boiled, tip 600ml boiling water into the bowl with the bicarb. Gently dip each pretzel into the hot water for 20-30 seconds and lower back onto the baking tray. Brush them with beaten egg and then sprinkle with a little extra salt. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.

8. Melt together 100g milk chocolate and 100g plain chocolate either gently in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pick up a cooled pretzel and dip the top into the bowl, twisting it a little as you bring it up, coating it thickly in the melted chocolate. Leave the chocolate to set on a sheet of greaseproof paper or a wire rack and then enjoy!

What do you think? Do you like the sound of these? What's your favourite salty-sweet combination?