This is the best thing I’ve made this year.
I know I’ve probably said that 15 times already but for real. This is it.
I have been in love with brioche since the first time I made it and adding a swirl of chocolate brioche to it just intensified our love. It was flaky, buttery, and extra rich – everything a good brioche should be.
When you make a marbled quickbread, you just dollop the batters on top of each other and then you use a knife to swirl them together. But with a yeast bread, that’s not really an option. So the method for this was really interesting and fun – you stack the dough on top of each other, slice into strips, and then slice again into pieces. Then you take all those pieces and shape them into a ball.
It produced the prettiest swirls!
For being such a good looking bread, it really wasn’t much work at all. I know a lot of people say that brioche is a pain in the you-know-what to work with but I think it’s one of the easiest doughs. It’s silky, smooth, and the large amount of butter means that it really doesn’t stick to anything.
You better believe I’m making French toast with it this morning.
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For the brioche:
- ½ cup milk
- 2¼ teaspoons 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
For the chocolate enrichment:
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and line with parchment. Butter parchment.
To make brioche:
- Heat the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm (about 110F). Pour milk into a bowl and whisk in the yeast; stir in 1 cup of the flour, making sure it is all moistened. Cover the bowl and set aside for 20 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, salt, egg, egg, yolks, and lemon zest until all is combined. Scrape the yeast mixture in and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining flour and mix just until combined.
- Remove dough and place on a floured work surface. Divide into thirds. Place 2 of the thirds back in the stand mixer bowl, this time fitted with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on medium and mix until the dough is smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Return dough to floured work surface and divide into 2.
- Place remaining third of the dough into the stand mixer. Make chocolate enrichment before proceeding.
To make chocolate enrichment:
- Whisk together water, baking soda, cinnamon, and melted chocolate.
- Add the chocolate enrichment to the stand mixer bowl with the dough. Turn mixer on medium; add the 3 tablespoons of flour. Mix until dough is smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove to floured work surface.
- Press one of the pieces of plain dough into a 5-inch square on the floured work surface. Repeat with the chocolate dough, placing it on top of the plain dough. Repeat with the last piece of plain dough. It doesn't need to be perfectly lined up.
- Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the dough into 3 strips, each about 1¾ inches wide. Cut each strip into ten ½-inch pieces of bowl. Place the cut pieces of dough into a bowl.
- Slide your hands, palms upward, under the pieces of dough and toss them gently.
- Sprinkle the pieces of dough in the bowl with 1 teaspoon of water. Gently press and squeeze the dough together into a ball. Move dough ball to your floured work surface and press into a thick 4 x 8-inch rectangle. Place the dough in the prepared pan and press to fill the pan completely.
- Cover the pan and let the dough rise about 1 inch over the top of the pan, 1-2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350F about 20 minutes before the loaf is fully risen. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Bake until the loaf is well risen and deep golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g