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Author Notes: In this recipe, a light, eggy, rich brioche dough encases swirls of pure dark chocolate. I stumbled upon it while browsing packages of chocolate bars, and as it comes from Ghirardelli, I trusted it would highlight the chocolate. It does. —Posie Harwood
Makes 1 loaf
- 1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus an additional 1/2 cup as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs, divided
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon sugar, yeast, and warm water. Let sit until frothy, about 5 minutes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture and stir well to combine.
- Whisk together four of the eggs, and add slowly to the flour mixture, mixing until mostly combined (don't worry about a few dry spots here and there).
- With the mixer running (or constantly stirring well if you aren't using a mixer), add the softened butter about a tablespoon at a time. Once the butter is well incorporated into the dough, switch to the dough hook attachment (or start kneading with your hands).
- Knead the dough with the dough hook or your hands for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky, but if it is TOO sticky, add up to 1/2 cup of flour (or even 3/4 cup if you really need it) until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should be sticky but more tacky than gooey.
- Transfer your dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1 1/2 hours. The dough should be almost doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a work surface. The dough is buttery enough that you shouldn't need to flour your surface. Roll the dough out to an 8- by 14-inch rectangle.
- Spread the chopped dark chocolate evenly across the surface of the dough. Starting at a short (8-inch) end, roll the dough up into a log.
- Grease an 8- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and transfer the dough, seam side down, to the pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise for another hour. The dough should just about reach the top of the pan at this point.
- When the hour is almost up, preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Once the dough is ready, beat the remaining egg. Brush the egg lightly over the surface of the dough.
- Bake the loaf for 30 to 40 minutes. The top should be a deep, dark golden brown and sound hollow when you tap it.
- Remove the loaf from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling. Wait for the loaf to cool entirely before slicing! (Unless you want warm bread...which I always do...just know that if you slice into it while the loaf is still hot, it will be a little messy-looking from the molten chocolate).
- This recipe is a Community Pick!