This could also be called “the bread that almost wasn’t”. I measured out all of the ingredients to make it on Tuesday evening. Then I read about this chocolate and cherry filled brioche that Katie at Making Michael Pollan Proud made. I began wavering. I started rationalizing with myself. The internal chatter went something like this:
Chocolate-Filled Chocolate Brioche
Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang and Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
2-1/4 cups (315 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups (340 g) bread flour
1/3 cup (25 g) Dutch-process cocoa
3-1/4 tsp (11 g) active dry yeast (not instant)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs (82 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbs (14 g) kosher salt
1/2 cup (120 g) cold water
5 large eggs
1-1/2 cups (340 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
1 cup (190 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 large egg
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch granulated sugar
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)
|before adding the butter|
|slowly adding the butter|
|after the butter is added|
|after mixing 15 minutes|
Turn the mixer up to medium speed and continue mixing for another 15 minutes. Be patient – the dough will look really shaggy at first. Eventually, the dough will look soft and sticky, perhaps even shiny and then become smooth and silky. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for one minute. By this time, the dough shouldn’t be sticking to the sides of the bowl at all and you should hear it slapping the bowl.
|the "pull" test|
|beautiful chocolate brioche dough|
Place the dough in a large bowl or plastic container and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate the dough for at least six hours or overnight. (At this point the dough can also be tightly wrapped in plastic, placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a week. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)
|start with a square of dough|
To make brioche loaves, prepare two bread pans with buttered parchment and set aside. Divide the dough in half. Press each half into a 9” x 9” inch square. (I made mini loaves, but the technique is the same.)
|sprinkle with chocolate|
|fold in thirds|
|folded, sealed and ready for the pan|
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare the egg wash by vigorously beating the egg along with the pinch of salt and pinch of sugar. You want to break up the white as much as possible. Very gently brush the tops of the brioche with the egg wash. (You’ll have a lot left over – just discard it.) Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired.
Bake the brioche for 35 – 45 minutes. As you won’t be able to determine doneness by color, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. The brioche should be 190°F. Remove the pans to a rack and allow the brioche to cool in the pans for 30 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and allow the brioche to cool completely on the rack.
|mini loaves and fluted rounds|
The brioche can be kept tightly wrapped for three day at room temperature. If for some odd reason you still have brioche after three days, use it for toast. The cooled loaves can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to a month.