These buttery, soft sourdough pretzels are filled with chocolate. Oh boy! Salty, chewy, soft, buttery, and chocolaty – they hit all the right notes and it’s really hard to eat just one. Chocolate, bread and salt are just beautiful together.
A recent cooking show spot on how to fill pretzels caught my attention this week. Since I’ve been meaning to try out my sourdough starter in my favorite soft pretzel recipe, I thought I would try out filled pretzels at the same time. I converted the pretzel recipe using my new favorite conversion method. I took 2 Tbsp. of my 100% hydration starter, mixed it with the liquid from the pretzel recipe and an equal weight of the flour and let it sit for 12 hours to mature. I then added in the remaining pretzel recipe ingredients, omitting the yeast, and made the pretzels as directed. As with the cinnamon rolls that I recently made with this conversion method, the conversion worked beautifully and the pretzels came out very well. The sourdough flavor is hard to detect as it has to compete with the salt and the chocolate, but this is still a great way to use my discard starter.
The last time I made pretzels, we noticed that they went very well with a square of chocolate as a snack. There’s something about the extreme saltiness that works with the sweet and rich dark chocolate. With that snack in mind, I filled my pretzel dough with chocolate chips before shaping. To do this, I rolled out my snake of dough, then pressed it flat and lined up mini chocolate chips down the center.
I then pinched the dough around the chips and rolled the snake of dough out to it’s full length and twisted it as usual. This way, the chocolate ends up being a gooey and sweet little surprise tunnel of chocolate that is revealed when the warm pretzel is eaten. I can’t wait to try filling future batches with both sweet and savory fillings!
- 2 Tbsp. 100% hydration sourdough starter (I used my discard directly from the fridge)
- 2½ Cups (10.5 oz) all purpose unbleached flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- scant Cup (7-8oz) warm water
- ½ Cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- 1 Cup (8 oz) boiling water
- coarse salt
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Mix 2 Tbsp. of sourdough starter with the warm water and half of the flour. Cover and let stand for 8-12 hours.
- Add the remaining flour, salt and sugar to the sourdough mixture and combine to make a smooth and slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too dry, add an extra tablespoon or two of water to bring the dough together. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, combine the boiling water with the baking soda and stir to dissolve the baking soda. Pour the mixture into an 8″x8″ pan.
- Divide the dough into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a 10 inch snake.
- Press the logs of dough flat and put a line of chocolate chips down the middle. Pinch the long edges up over the chocolate filling.
- Continue to roll and stretch out the logs of dough until they are about 28 inches long.
- Twist each dough log into a pretzel shape.
- Working with 4 shapes at a time, lay them into the baking soda mixture and use a spoon to moisten the tops of the pretzels. Leave the pretzels in the baking soda mixture for 2 minutes and then move them to a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
- Sprinkle the pretzels with salt and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes until the pretzels are dark brown on top.
- Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush the pretzels with the melted butter repeatedly until the butter is gone.
- Serve immediately.