I had made brioche bread before, but after hearing my French teacher talk about this variation, I wanted to try it out. The recipe is pretty simple, but the results are delicious!
Step 1: Gather the Ingredients
For the dough:
- 4 cups bread (or all purpose) flour
- 2 eggs
- just over 3/4 cup milk
- 2 3/4 tsp. yeast
- 7 tbsp. butter
- 2 heaped tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- a bar of dark or milk chocolate (optional)
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- a dash of milk (1-2 tbsp)
Step 2: Mix the Flour, Eggs, Milk, and Yeast
Mix until combined the flour, eggs, milk, and yeast with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Step 3: Finish the Dough
Add in the sugar, butter (cut into chunks), and salt, and mix for a few more seconds. Switch out the paddle attachment for a dough hook, and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 20 minutes on medium high).
Step 4: Prove the Dough
Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough prove in a warm place until doubled in size (about 2 hours).
Step 5: Forming the Balls
Roll the dough into a log, then cut the log into 6-12 equal sections (depending on how big you want your brioches to be), leaving a hunk of dough to make the smaller balls that go on top. Form the large balls by repeatedly pulling the dough back, around your thumbs. Once a smooth surface is formed on the ball, pinch together the extra dough at the bottom. Next, use the same technique to make the same number of smaller dough balls.
Step 6: Add the Chocolate/Finish Forming the Balls.
Press the chocolate squares into the center of the large dough balls (you may need to break the squares in half), then put the smaller balls on top to seal off the chocolate. If you don't want to add chocolate, just join the small dough ball to the top of the large dough ball. If you want, you can also use scissors to cut slits around the sides of the big dough balls (for decoration).
Step 7: Preheat the Oven/Final Proving
Preheat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the brioches on a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let prove in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Step 8: Egg Wash the Brioches
Combine the egg and milk with a fork to make an egg wash. Brush the mixture fairly generously onto the brioches.
Step 9: Bake the Brioches
Bake the brioches at 355 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. They should be golden brown. Serve with butter, jam, more chocolate, or just plain.