If you are a real foodie like me, you will have noticed a current trend for salt in desserts. Salted caramel and chocolate recipes in particular. Although, in my household there is a bit of a divide in opinion as my hubby isn’t so keen. I on the other hand love it!
When I was researching my chocolate truffle recipe I discovered from chefs and chocolate connoisseurs that a tiny pinch of salt is supposed to bring out the flavour of the cocoa.
Although it seems to be a recent trend in the UK, it’s a traditional addition to sweet baking over in the US. And today’s recipe is an old classic combination…
Salty Sweet Chocolate Covered & Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Pretzels.
The original beloved combination is usually for the small crunchy pretzels covered in chocolate. As much as I love them, I don’t fancy standing around for hours sculpting 100s of tiny knots which, let’s face it, will be devoured in a matter of minutes. I would however still recommend to buy these from the supermarket and dip in melted chocolate yourself. Yum!
Today’s recipe is for the larger soft pretzel that you can eat warm from oven for breakfast or linger over the strange flavour sensation with a cuppa or cold glass of milk.
I will admit the recipe is a tad technical but trust me it’s all worth it in the end.
For your basic soft pretzel
- 450g Strong White Flour
- 150g Strong Brown Flour
- 1 level tsp fast-acting yeast
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 375ml Warm Water
Today I have used my gorgeous Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer with the dough hook attachment but you can also knead by hand.
Sieve the two flours together in your mixer bowl and then add your yeast, sugar and salt.
Mix together the warm water and oil in a jug. With the mixer on its slowest setting add the liquid slowly until you form the dough. Let this need for about 10minutes.
Oil a large bowl and place the kneaded dough inside and add another coating of oil. Cover with a damp clean cloth or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-3hrs until it has doubled in size.
Now for the technical bit…
You will need the following:
- 2 oiled baking trays
- A little flour for dusting your work surface
- 2 clean tea towels
- Small glass or water (for finger dipping)
- 75g Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 litrewater
- Large pot
- Large Slotted spoon
- 1-2 tbsp Sea Salt (ground)
Once the dough has risen, knead it a little for a minute or so and then divide into 12 pieces. This division makes 12 large soft pretzels. I have made a number of different sizes today so the smaller you go the more you will get.
As you roll out and sculpt each pretzel place the rest of the mixture back in to oiled bowl and cover.
For the sculpting. Roll out your dough into a long strip to about 1-2cm in diameter. The thinner you go the crispier the result. Now follow the photographs to get your shape. To seal at the end, dip you finger in some water and coat the tips and press in place. Place your finished form on your baking tray and cover with your clean tea towel.
Today I also made some bit size pieces by simply rolling the dough out to the long strip and cutting into 2cm bites. You get about 10 per 1/12 of the mixture.
Leave everything to rise a bit again under you tea towels for about 10 minutes. While this happens preheat your over to 220C.
In a large pot mix the water and bicarb. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Then, three at a time, poach the dough for 30 seconds per side. (This poaching gives the dough a coating that results in the dark brown finish of the pretzel). Remove the dough with your slotted spoon draining as much water as possible and place on your baking tray.
Once all your little sculptures are lined up, sprinkle with your sea salt and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.
For the toppings.
Cinnamon Sugar Dusted.
- 15g butter melted
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
Whilst still warm from the oven, brush the pretzels with the melted butter. Mix the caster sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the pretzels and enjoy straight away.
- 100g Milk Chocolate
- 50g White Chocolate (optional)
Leave your pretzels to cool. Melt the chocolate in a microwave. Dip your Pretzels in the chocolate and place on a lined tray to set. If you are too impatient like me, place in a fridge or freezer. Then for purely decoration purposes, melt the white chocolate and flick a few stripes on top using a teaspoon.
And for a mixture of the two and perfect for a dinner party dessert.
Pretzel Bites with melted dipping chocolate.
Using all the same ingredients from both recipes. Coat your bite size chunks while warm with your butter, sugar and cinnamon. Melt the chocolate and place into individual pots. Then get a cocktail stick or skewer and dip away!