Fancy Breakfast Friday: Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels


 This week I made a cake and I didn’t even take a picture of it.  Unheard of, and so unsatisfying.  The cake was for the teachers for their parent-provided dinner during conferences.  So I didn’t get to eat it, and I wasn’t even there when people were eating it, and, I assume, raving about how good it was.  If only I had a picture, I could have at least gotten a like on instagram.  I’m sure there is a Zen Koan in there somewhere.  If a cake is eaten in a teachers lounge, am I a martyr for suffering through the lack of praise?   That reminds me of when I used to not know if the Pope was Catholic or not, because sometimes when I asked a question the answer was, “Is the Pope Catholic?”  And I would think, “Maybe?  I have no idea.”  I wasn’t one for follow up questions.

Because of the cake situation this week, I planned a coffee cake themed Fancy Breakfast Friday.  But when the Smitten Kitchen cookbook fell open to Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels I knew it was meant to be.  Luke has been wanting to make soft pretzels all week, but we haven’t had time to squeeze it in.  These pretzels really got me thinking about how people handle their breakfast pastries.  Do people get up at 4:00 am?  Or eat breakfast at noon?  This recipe said you could do the first half the night before and leave the dough to rise in the fridge over night.  In the morning, you just had to let the dough come to room temperature and then you could do the rest of the steps.  But how long does it take dough to come to room temperature?   I was wondering to myself if I was going to set an alarm for 5:00 am, take the dough out, sleep for an hour and then make the pretzels.  I asked Dave for his advice as I tend to over complicate things. He suggested just leaving it on the counter before I went to bed.  I basically can’t even feel my feet right now, due to the temp in our house, so I agreed that was a good idea.  I suppose I could have also taken the dough out of the cold mixing bowl and put in in the oven with the light on to warm up a bit.  But I want to know – how do people do it?  I decided to draw the line at 6:00 am starts for Fancy Breakfast Friday.  I served the pretzels with bacon and made to order eggs.

I have made some delicious things from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, and the pretzels were a hit as well.  I’m more of a sugar/chocolate person than a butter person when it comes to indulging, so I was glad for the chocolate chips.  These were a hit with everybody though.  The only problem was that the recipe called for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  I cooked them for 12 minutes and then added three minutes at a time… again and again.  So it took about 24 minutes – double the recipe time.  I assume this is problem with my oven.