20 May 2016
There are different opinions which ratio of egg, butter and flour makes the best brioche dough. I cannot give you an answer because I am no a brioche expert but most of the time a brioche contains a lot of butter and eggs which gives the yeasted bread a very rich texture. But there is one thing that is imprortant to me when making brioche (and making yeasted dough in general): it is kneading the dough with my hands and not using any kitchen machine. I think it really makes a difference.
The brioche recipe - that I am sharing with you today - is a brioche with less butter and eggs than a classic brioche - maybe it is not considered as a "real" brioche - but I really like the consistency of this chocolate brioche. The brioche is rich but not too rich, dense but not too dense and moist at the same time and the chocolate chips gives the bread sweetness as well which makes it, at least for me, the perfect indulgent breakfast treat. I could not think of a sweeter start to the morning than a brioche fresh out of the oven or a defrosted brioche heated in the oven, cooled down for a few minutes, with a little bit of butter. It is so so delicious and it is really hard to resist a soft and warm yeasted bread in the morning. I recommend picking your least favorite day of the week and have a chocolate brioche for breakfast and I assure you that it will be a good day.
The big brioche keeps fresh for several days (store the bread in a plastic bag), whereas the small brioches taste the very best fresh out of the oven or on the same day but heated in the oven for a few minutes. The petite brioches freeze very well. Defrost the brioches in the oven at 75 °C / 160 °F for 10 to 12 minutes. Bon apétit.
Makes 10 petite brioches or one big brioche (see my note above)
- 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 125 ml / 1/2 cup whole milk
- 15 g fresh yeast / 1 3/4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast / 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 egg (medium size)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 45 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 300 to 325 g all-purpose flour
- 85 g / 1/2 cup chocolate chunks, semi sweet
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the milk to the melted butter and heat the mixture until it is lukewarm. Make sure the mixture is lukewarm and not hot, otherwise the yeast won't rise.
- Crumble the fresh yeast* into a bowl. Pour a little bit of the butter milk mixture to the crumbled yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Whisk the egg in a cup; put aside two tablespoons of the whisked egg for the egg wash (keep it in the fridge until you brush the brioche with the egg wash). Add the remaining egg wash along with the remaining butter milk mixture, salt and sugar and mix well. Add most of the flour and mix with a spoon. As soon as the dough comes together transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour to the dough.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel
- *If you use instant active dry yeast: mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, then add the lukewarm butter-milk mixture and proceed as written above.
- If you use active dry yeast: heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the active dry yeast to a mug and dissolve the yeast with two tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, add the melted butter, remaining lukewarm milk and the dissolved yeast. Proceed as written above.
- Let the yeast dough rise in a draft-free and warm place for about 40 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
- Grease and flour brioche moulds or a muffin tin.
- Knead the dough again on a well floured surface. If the dough is sticky add a little bit of flour to the dough. Incorporate the chocolate chunks into the dough. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and form each piece into a ball. Place the balls into the greased brioche moulds or muffin tin. If you make one big brioche, form one bif ball out of the yeast dough and place it into the brioche mould.
- Cover the moulds with a kitchen towel and let the brioches rest for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F.
- Brush the brioches with the egg wash.
- Bake the petite brioches for 8 to 10 minutes; the big brioche for 20 to 25 minutes. The brioches brown quickly so keep a close eye while the brioche are in the oven. After 5 or 6 minutes in the oven the brioche are golden in color, cover the brioches with aluminium foil and bake them for another few minutes. If you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean, the brioches is done.
- Let the brioches cool for a few minutes; unmould the brioches and enjoy while the bread is still warm.