Chocolate Swirl Brioche


Test Kitchen-Approved

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) Brien

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 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 This Recipe

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon sugar, yeast, and warm water. Let sit until frothy, about 5 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and stir well to combine.
  4. 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).
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. When the hour is almost up, preheat the oven to 375° F.
  12. Once the dough is ready, beat the remaining egg. Brush the egg lightly over the surface of the dough.
  13. Bake the loaf for 30 to 40 minutes. The top should be a deep, dark golden brown and sound hollow when you tap it.
  14. 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).

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Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

Christine K. January 14, 2018
I was attempting the sugared cardamom brioche and was unsure at what speed to mix the dough and probably overmixed it by waiting for the dough hook to incorporate all the ingredients. Is there a reason this recipe has a more involved, detailed process and the other recipe is "dump it all in a bowl and mix for 10 minutes"?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. January 14, 2018
Good question! You can just use the “dump in all in method” for either but I find that since there is less flour in this dough and thus a smaller amount overall, it’s easier to knead and come together if you add the butter bit by bit. It won’t make a difference in the final texture it just helps get the dough to a “kneadable” texture more quickly and it’s my method for mixing it that works best with less flour. But again, either method works for either dough since they’re very similar and really the MOST important thing for recipe success is to not skimp on the kneading. The dough should be very smooth and elastic and saying and if it’s still sort of bumpy looking, keep kneading! It can take at least 10 min.
 
Christine K. January 14, 2018
Ok. By the time it was all said and done, I'd decided that next time I make the sugared cardamom brioche I'm going to start with the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook after the ingredients are mixed. I have a kitchen aid stand mixer, and with just the dough hook I mixed for closer to twenty minutes and had to stop and scrape down several times. Also, at what speed do you mix the dough? I went med-lo because I was unsure.
 
Christine K. January 14, 2018
The dough itself was fine and is on its second rise at the moment. I added maybe 2 tbsp of flour toward the end of the mixing
 
Jessica M. March 6, 2016
I made this today and it turned out delicious! Amazing recipe, thanks!
 
Alexa February 22, 2016
Is there a high altitude adjustment anyone can recommend?