Give your breakfast a cocoa twist with a slice of fluffy, rich homemade chocolate brioche
Fancy changing up your standard slices of toast? With its glossy surface and light, fluffy crumb, a decadent brioche loaf is the perfect way to liven up your breakfast or afternoon snack. Add chocolate into the equation, and you’ve got a satisfying treat that will set you up for the day and curb those cocoa cravings.
What is chocolate brioche?
Whether it’s a generous loaf or dainty bun, brioche is a rich, often sweet, bread. While many bread types consist of a basic mixture of water, flour, salt and yeast, brioche also contains eggs, milk and butter, making it an ‘enriched dough.’ The addition of these ingredients gives brioche a higher protein and fat content, leading to a delightfully indulgent, buttery flavour.
Brioche also tends to have a light, cake-like crumb encased in a soft, shiny outer shell. You can certainly enjoy a brioche bun on its own. However, we personally think that a sprinkling of chocolate makes this opulent bake even more special.
Traditional chocolate brioche is studded with chocolate chips for an even distribution of cocoa deliciousness. However, you can also chop your favourite chocolate into chunks for bigger flavour pockets.
If you fancy getting really creative, you can even mix up a chocolate filling to spread over your brioche dough, then braid the whole lot. Once baked, each slice will have a striking chocolate swirl running through its centre.
What type of chocolate is best for homemade brioche?
Because brioche has a sweetness of its own, you may find that dark chocolate is the best way to balance the flavours. The high cocoa content gives semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate a depth of flavour that can temper the sweetness of enriched bread. When making chocolate brioche at home, look for chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 65% or higher, such as our 70% Dark Chocolate Slab.
For a bit of extra cocoa variety, why not try adding chopped chocolate from our High Cocoa Chocolate Baton Library? You can include pieces of 70% and 85% dark chocolate sticks or try a bit of our 65% Supermilk for a more mellow impact.
Once you’ve chosen your chocolate, you can chop it as coarsely or finely as you like. You can use pre-prepared chocolate chips. However, chopping your own chocolate gives you control over your brioche’s texture. Do you want big chunks of chocolate that offer rustic charm or small, uniform pieces for a neat loaf?
Why stick with plain chocolate? If you want to bring a new dimension to your brioche, you can always try adding flavoured chocolate. Our Dark Chocolate Orange 70% Selector brings a vibrant citrus tang from ripe Valencian oranges that will shine through the deeper cocoa notes. (We never use artificial flavourings, so you can be sure you get that authentic zesty taste).
Alternatively, our Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut 80% Selector is the perfect way to add a little extra texture. Mellow almonds, crunchy hazelnuts and juicy cherries complement the nuanced and intense flavours of 80% cocoa.
Chocolate brioche ingredients
For this chocolate brioche recipe, you’ll need:
- 355g bread flour (or plain flour)
- 50g caster sugar
- 1tsp instant dried yeast
- 75ml whole milk (lukewarm)
- 3 eggs
- A pinch of table salt
- 120g softened unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 100g chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1 egg for egg wash (optional)
Chocolate brioche method
Chocolate brioche may seem like a tricky bake at first, but once you get the hang of proving and kneading, you’ll never look back!
Mixing and proving your dough
First, mix your flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Pour in the milk and whisked eggs. An electric mixer is the quickest way to combine the ingredients – mix on a medium speed for 3 minutes. However, you can also stir by hand — it will take a few minutes longer to get a dough consistency.
Add your salt, and knead for another 2 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should pull away from the inside of the bowl.
Slowly add your butter cubes, kneading as you go. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients into a smooth, stretchy dough. Continue kneading for another 5 minutes on high speed (or longer if hand-kneading). You’ll know your dough is ready when it can stretch enough to create a thin, almost see-through ‘windowpane’ without breaking.
Cover your dough with a tea towel, and leave it to prove in a warm place for an hour and a half or until it has doubled in size.
Once your dough has proved, prod it to deflate the gas buildup from the yeast.
Shaping your brioche buns
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and cut it into eight equal pieces.
Gently press each bun to flatten, and scatter your chocolate in the centre of each one.
Next, fold the edges of each bun inwards to create parcels, and use the palm of your hand to roll them into round balls.
You can leave your chocolate brioche balls as separate buns or arrange them in a loaf pan, so they blend together into a loaf when they cook. Either way, make sure you lightly grease your pans to prevent the brioche from sticking.
Top your brioche with more chocolate chips or chunks, and use a pastry brush to paint a layer of egg wash.
Proving and baking your brioche
Cover your chocolate brioche and leave to prove for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the rolls have risen again.
While the buns prove, preheat your oven to 180℃ (350℉). Bake your chocolate brioche for 20 to 30 minutes, until they have risen and have a golden colour.
How to serve your chocolate brioche
Chocolate brioche makes a wonderful morning treat or afternoon snack. After all, who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast? Buttery and bursting with chocolate pieces, this brioche is delicious on its own. Serve warm from the oven for an irresistibly gooey delight, or toast your slices for a bit of extra crunch.
You can always top your brioche with a generous lashing of butter or jam for a touch more decadence.
Whether you toast your chocolate brioche or enjoy it soft and fluffy, pair it with a fresh cup of Rabot Estate Coffee for a real energy burst. Trying to keep your caffeine levels low? No problem, up the cocoa factor instead with a velvety smooth hot chocolate. A perfect brioche companion!