Like most yeast recipes this is not as time consuming as it sounds, especially as other tasks can be done while the dough is rising. You do most of the work the night before, so all that’s required to feel like a domestic god/dess in the morning is some lazy kneading. Then you can read the papers in bed while it rises before popping it in the oven.
This is an attractive-looking brioche, and the chocolate lumps can be divided between the chocolate and plain doughs, or put only in the chocolate one for a more dramatic effect. To start the day with a kick, try making it with chilli chocolate!
- 1 tsp active dried yeast
- 2 tbsp milk, warm
- Scant 3 cups (12 oz/350g) white bread flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup (2oz/50g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (2oz/50g) good-quality cocoa powder
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (5oz/150g) butter, softened
- 1oz (25g) good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small lumps.
- Dissolve the yeast in the milk and set aside until it starts to bubble and froth. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the salt and sugar. Divide the flour into two portions of 1 1/4 cups (5oz/150g) and 1 3/4 cups (7oz/200g). Place each portion into a separate bowl and sift the cocoa powder into the smaller portion.
- Pour half of the yeast mixture and half of the eggs and butter into each of the bowls of flour. Beat the ingredients in each bowl until well-combined. Leave the bowls in a warm place for about 2 hours until the doughs have doubled in size.
- When the doughs have risen and are bubbly and spongy, break them down with a wooden spoon. Put both doughs (separately) into clean, greased bowls, cover with cling film and leave overnight in a cool place.
- In the morning, butter a 10 in/25 cm brioche mould. Break down both doughs again and knead briefly for about 30 seconds, adding the chocolate pieces to both portions or just one as you prefer. Place 1 tablespoon of white dough in the mould, then 1 tablespoon of dark. Continue to alternate until you have used all the dough, which should come half-way up the mould. Cover with clingfilm again and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough doubles to fill the mould.
- Preheat the oven to 375F (190C, Gas 5). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the brioche sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out and cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes until overcome by temptation.
This recipe comes from Chantal Coady’sChocolate: The Food of the Gods
printed by Pavillion.