I will unashamedly admit to being a chocoholic. I find it very difficult to resist the stuff, though there are exceptions to this rule. If you do want to put chocolate in front of me and ensure I do not touch it, then give me liqueur filled chocolate or very, very sweet chocolate. These are the two types of chocolate I will not touch!
Otherwise, if it’s chocolate (and vegetarian) then I’m game.
You all would know that the HBin5/ Abin5 group bakes bread according to a pre-determined schedule twice every month. Since the middle of this month is celebrated as Valentine’s Day, one of the breads on the schedule was bread with beets! I think it was the colour pink/ red that prompted Michelle to make this suggestion and not the vegetable itself!
The two other breads on the schedule for the first half of this month were a Chocolate Espresso Whole Wheat Bread and Chocolate Tangerine Bars.
Now, this bread baking group is pretty flexible and we don’t have to stick to that schedule suggested, which is a very brilliant thing in my opinion. We HBin5/ ABin5 bakers are free to bake any bread of our choice from the books, if we prefer to.
Now we hate beets here and it is one vegetable I have bought only twice in my whole life! Worse still, I really cannot imagine celebrating anything at all with beets, but then that’s just me. So what would I celebrate with? Chocolate of course!
We are a chocolate loving family and we also love bread. Luckily for me, Abin5 doesn’t have a recipe for the Red Beet Buns (that’s in the HBin5).
So keeping with the spirit of the breads on the schedule, I found an alternative in the recipe for “Brioche With Chocolate Ganache” on page 195 of Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day.
I halved the given recipe and then made some changes, mainly reducing the eggs to 3, also reducing the butter a bit and using milk instead of water. I thought these changes would make a difference to the texture of the brioche, but I was very pleasantly surprised to say otherwise.
This dough produces the softest and flakiest brioche I’ve ever eaten, which is not saying a lot as I haven’t eaten very much brioche so far. That aside, I know good bread when I eat it and this is going to be my brioche dough till such time I find a better one.
Can you show me another brioche recipe that doesn’t require you to knead dough at all, yet gives you such a flaky and cake-like brioche? All I used to stir everything was a wooden spoon!
Never having seen this bread before, I'm not sure if mine looks like it ough to. When my brioche came out of the oven, the top layer had split a bit in places to reveal chocolate ganache. I thought this gave my loaf a rustic look, so I decided not to drizzle the loaf with more ganache and left it as it was.
This recipe is adapted from the original recipe in Abin5 and the measurements of various ingredients are as I used them to make my bread. You can find the original brioche recipe from the book on the Abin5 site.
3/4 cups lukewarm milk (3% fat)
3/4 tbsp active dry yeast
3/4 tbsp salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup honey
150gm unsalted butter, melted
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
110g bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp honey
a couple of tbsp milk for brushing over the bread
granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter with the milk in a 2 1/2 litre bowl or lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon. (You can also use a 14-cup capacity food processor or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook.) If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled. Don’t try to work with it before chilling. You may notice lumps in the dough but they will disappear in the finished product.
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
The dough can be used as soon as it’s chilled after the initial rise. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze the dough in 450g portions in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. When using frozen dough, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using, then allow the usual rise and rest times.
Making the ganache:
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave on low, until smooth. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until incorporated.
Stir the cocoa and the honey and mix until smooth. Add to the chocolate and butter mixture.
Shaping the bread:
Lightly butter a 9x4x3-inch nonstick loaf pan (I used a regular 26x10x5cm pan lined with baking paper). Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a grapefruit-sized piece (about 450g).
Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape in into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Using a rolling pin, roll out the ball into a ¼-inch thick rectangle, dusting with flour as needed.
Spread ½ cup of the ganache evenly over the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch (2.5cm) border all around. Starting at the short end, roll up the dough, being careful to seal the bare edges. Gently tuck the loose ends underneath, elongate into an oval and drop into the prepared pan. Allow to rest 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Using a pastry brush, paint the top crust with milk. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.
Bake the brioche at 180C for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sugar caramelizes. Remove from the pan and cool slightly, then drizzle the remaining ¼ cup ganache over the top crust. Cool completely and slice.
This recipe makes two 450gm loaves while the ganache is enough for 1 such loaf.
I made one loaf with chocolate ganache and left the top without drizzling any more chocolate on it. So what did I do with the remaining ganache? I’m not telling and will leave you to guess!
I used the remaining dough to make mini-brioches.
This delicious bread goes to this month’s Monthly Mingle which Jamie is hosting with the theme “Bread and Chocolate”. My brioche is also being Yeast Spotted!