The CO-VID 19 pandemic has us stuck at home and many are baking bread. So here comes another bread recipe for you to try. Something a little more adventurous than the selection seen below:
We have enough time to try it out and get creative with it. This post was inspired pre-corona though. It was while shopping in Carre Four drooling over the bread (self-proclaimed lover of carbs). My jaw however was on the floor at the cost of chocolate brioche – Kshs 875 (approx. $9). Now to be fair, it is not a cheap loaf of bread to bake taking into consideration butter, chocolate, electricity and profit. But that’s where the idea was born.
Thus far, there have been three successful attempts at chocolate brioche. The easiest filling is nutella. Brioche pictures online have layers and layers of thick nutella. Umm .. yeah … that’s a luxury. Whatever amount of nutella or chocolate you use, this bread is still delicious.
What is brioche?
In my mind, I make up stories as to the origin of recipes. So indulge me please. 🙂 Bread in its simplest form is flour, water, yeast and salt.
But there might have been times when there was a plentiful harvest. So instead of water, why not bake bread with milk (you know, like how Kalenjins cook their ugali with milk)? And since milk was abundant, so was butter. And why not throw in some eggs since the chickens are laying so well?
Or perhaps brioche was a special occasion bread.
Whatever the origin, brioche is what they call an enriched bread. Enriched because it has milk, butter, eggs and sugar. Perhaps they were the predecessor of cakes.
It’s from brioche dough that one can bake (drumroll please): buttery twisted brioche, cinnamon rolls, raisin brioche, chocolate brioche (also known as chocolate babka), brioche rolls and many other creations.
Shaping the loaves
So at the second rise, instead of cutting the dough like above for cinnamon rolls, cut the roll lengthwise in two.
So now you have two long strips. Take one long strip and cut it in half. Do the same with the other strip so that you have 4 strips.
Take 2 strips and place one over the other to make an x or a cross. And then twist it on itself. Do the same with the second strip.
Place each in a greased loaf pan and let it rise until almost double in size.
- 1 cup/200 ml milk
- 2 heaped Tablespoons (50g) sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoon(10 g) yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup (100g) butter
- 3 1/2 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (8g) salt
- nutella (and chocolate chunks if you have)
DirectionsHeat 1 cup of milk in the microwave until warm (about 30 seconds). Measure 2 heaped Tablespoons (50g) sugar and dissolve it in the warm milk. Lightly stir in 2 1/4 teaspoons (10g) of yeast. Give the yeast 5-10 minutes to bloom.
In a large bowl mix the activated yeast, milk, sugar, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup (100g) soft butter, 3 1/2 cups flour (500 grams) and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix with a fork until it forms a shaggy dough.
If you have a stand mixer mix for 15 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, gently knead by hand for the next 15 minutes. This actually quite therapeutic.
Transfer the smooth dough to an oiled bowl and cover with cling film or with a plate. Leave to rise until almost double in size. This could take anywhere from one to two hours.
Once the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down to release the air and remove from the bowl. Roll it into a really large rectangle.
Spread nutella (and chocolate chunks if you have) over the dough leaving an inch border.
Roll it lengthwise tight-ish. Cut the long roll in half lengthwise in two. So now you have two long strips. Take one long strip and cut it in half. Do the same with the other strip so that you have four strips.
Take two strips and place one over the other to make an x or a cross. And then twist it on itself. Do the same with the second strip. Place each in a greased loaf pan and let it rise until almost double in size (about half an hour or more).
Heat the oven to 170C/375F. Place the loaf pans in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remember after 15 minutes to either move the left pan to the right or back to front – depending on your oven’s heat distribution.
When ready remove from the oven. This next step is optional. Make a syrup by boiling water and sugar. Brush it on top of the bread while still warm. This seals in the moisture and adds to the sweetness.