Chocolate brioche and Monthly Mingle

Last week I announced my first participation in a blogger event. I joined Coulinary Tour 2010. During the virtual foodie visit in Brazil I found my new sweet passion - Dulce de Leche. You can still join the tour if you are interested and explore new culinary worlds. I've truly enjoyed the event and decided to go on.

I might have already confessed that I have a sweet tooth. My sweet tooth and the fact that I constantly try to improve my bread-making skills inspired me to join another blogger event. This time I chose Monthly Mingle hosted by Jamie from the lovely blog Life's a feast. The theme for this month is Bread & Chocolate. I just could not resist!

To be honest, it took me a while to decide what was I going to bake. Bread and chocolate? I did not want to think about a classical bread. I just didn't like the idea of sweet chocolate bread. But what else can be counted as bread? I found many chocolate bread recipes. I wasn't intrigued by any of those.

I woke up on Saturday morning with a sudden flash of inspiration. Brioche! But... What is brioche? Is it type of bread? I have never tasted it. Again! There are so many goodies I still don't know! I love foodie world. Sometime it is kind of frustrating though. I feel like a kid in the grown-up world. A friend of mine talked about brioche a couple of weeks ago. He said it was delicious. That's all I knew.

Thank you uncle Google. You know everything what I don't know! You helped me again.

Wikipedia. Another favourite site of mine!

"Brioche is a highly enriched French bread, whose high egg and butter content give it what is seen as a rich and tender crumb. It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust from an egg wash applied before and ager proofing."
Source: Wikipedia

Bingo! That's the one I have been looking for. Let's just add some chocolate. Yum!

I liked brioche a lot. I will definitely make it again. I just wonder if I can freeze them. We had a hard time eating 12 rich and buttery brioches. I might also point out that the recipe originally called for kneading dough in a stand mixer. As I don't have one, I had to knead it by hands. I also had to ask P. for help during a phase where recipe said "increase speed to medium-high"! :) Fresh warm brioche with melted chocolate centre was well worth all the effort!

Chocolate Brioche

1/3 cup warm milk
1/3 cup warm water
10 g dry active yeast
450 g plain flour
2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
55 g sugar
300 g butter, cut into small cubes, softened
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash

1. In a large bowl mix warm water, warm milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar and yeast. Stir until yeast dissolves and let proof for 10 minutes.

2. Add flour and salt and mix with a wooden spoon until flour is moistened. Beat in eggs, adding one egg at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding another one.

3. Add sugar and keep kneading dough until it comes together. Now comes the tricky part. Mix in butter, adding only one or two cubes at a time, kneading well until each cube is incorporated before adding another cube. This can takes about 10 minutes before all butter is fully incorporated. Dough is fully kneaded when it pulls away form sides of your bowl.

4. Transfer the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hours or until double in size. Lift up dough around edges and allow it to deflate.

5. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours. Punch the dough down to deflate it every 30 minutes until it stops rising. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

6. When you are ready to make brioche, butter a muffin pan or brioche tins you want to use.

7. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it out on a floured surface. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms to form a ball. Flatten each ball of dough and put several pieces of chocolate in the middle of each one. Roll up into a ball shape and place in the pan.

8. Cover the pan loosely with a plastic wrap and let rise for two hours at room temperature.

9. Brush each ball with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven to 180C/fan for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.

10. Allow brioche to cool for a couple of minutes in the pan and then transfer onto the cooling rack.