Note from Steph: If you're trying to contact me at the moment you won't have much luck because I'm in Europe on my honeymoon! But I thought it would be cruel of me to abandon my poor blog for several weeks, so I lined up some amazing guest bloggers to take over for me while I'm away. The baking blog community is so lovely and I was blown away by how willing everyone was to jump in and lend a hand. This week is a guest post from one of my favourite Sydney bloggers and also one of my closest friends; Karen from Citrus and Candy. If you aren't already a regular visitor to her blog, shame on you! I'm constantly in awe of her beautiful, moody photos, she is hilarious and she makes food that looks and sounds super schmexy. Check out this wonderfully buttery and chocolate-filled post.
I admit, I'm a little terrified to be guest posting for Steph. She happens to be one of my closest friends but this girl is a baking genius and the amazeball creations on her blog never fail to astound me. But I'm more than thrilled to be here on Raspberri Cupcakes while she's living it up overseas (and I certainly hope she is because she deserves an awesome holiday!). Cheers for having me!
If there's one thing that I love intensely, it's butter. I just cannot live without it and I need it thickly slathered on everything; crusty bread, sourdough, muffins, banana bread and most of all, brioche. Omg brioche, I love it so much that it brings tears of joy to my eyes whenever I catch a whiff of the buttery aroma as it's baking and I would happily polish loaves of it in one afternoon with extra slabs of butter (before quietly disposing of all my skinny jeans afterwards).
So here I present to you the king of breads. But I'm not done yet; I just had one of those weeks and I needed extra back up. Brioche + chocolate? Excuse me while I have a moment.
Please, please do not be intimidated by the thought of making brioche for yourself. If you have a bread machine or Kitchenaid mixer, there's really nothing to be scared of since the appliances are doing all the hard work for you. Plus it's a cinch to put the whole loaf together. All you need is a little time and a warm spot for the bread (and a quiet spot to enjoy it all by yourself). I promise you it'll all be so worth it in the end because there are few things in the world better than homemade bread. Especially one that comes with lashings of butter and chocolate.
Brioche Chocolate Buns
40ml milk, slightly warmed to 100-115°F (37-46°C)
50g caster sugar
1 packet / 7g of instant dried yeast
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
175g good quality unsalted butter, softened then chopped
1 extra egg for egg wash, lightly beaten
170g good quality dark chocolate, very finely chopped
35g butter, at room temperature
35g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
To make the dough; whisk one teaspoon of the sugar into the milk then the yeast. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy.
In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, salt, eggs, remaining sugar and frothy yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it comes together in a dough (making sure to scrape the flour off the sides to incorporate properly) then turn it up to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then knead for a further 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.
Add a few pieces of butter into the dough then after it’s incorporated, lower the speed and add the rest of the butter one piece at time, waiting until it’s mixed in before adding the next. When all the butter is in, turn up the speed and knead for at least 6-10 minutes or until the dough is very smooth, shiny, unsticky, elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl perfectly (it’ll make slapping sounds while it's kneading).
Remove the dough hook then cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature (no warmer than 24°C) for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, to make the filling, add the butter, sugar and cinnamon to the finely chopped chocolate then mix until it's all crumbly (use a food processor or a knife to cut the butter in).
Knock the dough down a couple of times then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently pat out the
dough on a sheet of greaseproof baking paper into a rectangle approximately 24 x 35cm with the long
side facing you. Layer as much chocolate filling as you like on the bottom half leaving a half-inch border.
Note - I made mine a thin singer layer because my family isn’t as nuts for chocolate as I am. Personally I would’ve had it bulging and ripping at the seams lol.
Brush the edges with egg wash then fold the top half over the filling and pinch the edges to seal. Loosely cover with glad wrap then leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size and is soft and pillowy. Meanwhile preheat oven to 180°C. Place the brioche and baking paper onto a tray, gently brush the entire surface with egg wash then bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden and it sounds hollow when you tap the top. Rotate the bread halfway through cooking to brown evenly.
Leave to cool on tray for about 20 minutes then transfer to a rack. Slice and serve slightly warm. Best eaten within a few hours however brioche can be stored at room temperature wrapped in cling wrap for up to two days. To serve, reheat in a low oven until softened and warmed (or for an out-of-this-world indulgence, make French toast with it).
*Brioche dough recipe adapted from Michel Roux