Marbled Chocolate Brioche

adapted from The Modern Baker


For the brioche:

  • ½ cup milk
  • teaspoons 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 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
  • ounces bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and line with parchment. Butter parchment.

To make brioche:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Place remaining third of the dough into the stand mixer. Make chocolate enrichment before proceeding.

To make chocolate enrichment:

  1. Whisk together water, baking soda, cinnamon, and melted chocolate.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Slide your hands, palms upward, under the pieces of dough and toss them gently.
  6. 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.
  7. Cover the pan and let the dough rise about 1 inch over the top of the pan, 1-2 hours.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350F about 20 minutes before the loaf is fully risen. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  9. 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.