This Chocolate Brioche Bread is deliciously buttery, chocolatey and indulgent. The classic buttery French Brioche is filled with a decadent Chocolate Filling then braided to create beautiful swirls of chocolate.
Mix the Lukewarm Milk, half of the Sugar and Yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until small bubbles/froth appears on the surface (see note 1).
75 ml (5 tablespoons) Full Cream / Whole Milk, 80 gr (1/3 cup) Caster Sugar, 9 gr (2 teaspoons) Instant Yeast
Mix in the Eggs, then add the rest of the Sugar, Flour and lastly the Salt (see note 2). Slowly knead with the dough hook attachment until a sticky dough comes together and all the ingredients have been incorporated.
3 Eggs, 350 gr (2 1/3 cup) Plain / AP Flour, 1/2 teaspoon Fine Salt
Slowly add the very soft butter, about 1 tablespoon at the time. Knead on slow until all the butter has been added and incorporated (see note 3).
120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter
Once all the butter has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium high to high and knead for about 20 minutes or until very soft, stretchy, elastic and passes the "windowpane test" (see note 4). The dough will still be slightly sticky, that's normal.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot. Leave it to proof for 1 to 1,5 hours or until it has doubled in size (see note 5).
Finely chop the Dark Chocolate and place it in a heat-proof mixing bowl with the Butter. Melt them together until smooth - either in the microwave in 30 seconds increments or over a double boiler. Mix in the sifted Icing Sugar and Cacao Powder. Set aside to firm up (see note 6).
100 gr (3,5 oz) Dark Cooking Chocolate, 60 gr (1/4 cup) Unsalted Butter, 75 gr (3/4 cup) Icing Sugar, 15 gr (1 1/2 tablespoons) Unsweetened Cacao Powder
Rolling & Shaping
Prepare a Loaf Pan (I used a 11,5x30cm / 4,5x12 inch loaf pan) by slightly greasing it and lining it with baking paper. Set aside.
Punch the air out of the proofed dough and transfer over a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle that is about 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 inch).
Spread the Chocolate Filling over the rolled brioche dough, leaving the edges clear.
Fold one third of the dough (either the right or the left side of the dough) towards the centre (chocolate over chocolate). Fold the second third of the dough towards the centre (the part of the dough where you can still see the chocolate filling), going over the first fold. You shouldn't see the chocolate filling anymore.
Gently roll the dough with the rolling pin again into a 30 x 40 cm rectangle (12 x 15 inch) approx. (see note 7). Cut the dough into 3 long strips, then scroll each strips into a long snail-like log. Braid the three logs and gently seal the two edges by pressing them together.
Place the brioche braid into the prepared loaf pan and brush it with the whisked egg for the egg wash. Cover the pan and let it rise again for 30 to 45 minutes.
1 Egg for egg wash
Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F then bake the Chocolate Brioche Bread for 25 to 30 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely before taking it out of the pan.
If you don't see froth or bubbles after 10/15 minutes, it could be because the milk is not warm enough (it should be about the temperature of your body - if you touch it with your finger, you shouldn't feel it) or because the Yeast is not alive. You might need a fresh pack of yeast.
Make sure to add the Salt last as you do not want it to come into direct contact with the yeast; it could kill it.
If the bowl gets greasy and the mixer struggle to mix, stop to scrap the side of the bowl with a spatula to help it.
To do the windowpane test, pull a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your fingers. If the dough breaks quickly, it needs to be kneaded for longer. If it stretches easily without breaking and you can see light coming through it, it has passed the windowpane test. The proofing time is quite long here, but that's because the high content of fat in the dough will make the gluten take longer to develop.
Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, it could take longer to proof (if too cold). Alternatively, you can proof the bread in the fridge overnight or for 8 to 12 hours.
If the filling is too soft/liquid, it will be a bit hard to spread over the dough and it will get messy when you roll it again (that's what happened with my filling). It should firm up at room temperature but you can also place it in the fridge for a few minutes if it is still too soft.
It could get a bit messy as some of the chocolate might escape from the dough - that's normal. Using a filling that has set a bit will help.