By Emily Chavez
With rich brioche, decadent chocolate and a boozy sweet glaze, what’s not to love in this month’s bake?
I’ll admit that the long proving time, where the yeast ferments the dough and deepens flavors, has intimidated me before to the point that I quickly shied away from making brioche — until now.
My recommendation is to just take it one step at a time and plan ahead. The process is not very labor intensive or complicated. The dough simply needs time to rest and rise without my interference. A final touch of the bourbon glaze after it comes out of the oven means that the alcohol content remains intact. And if that’s not for you, just replace the bourbon with milk. This lovely chocolatey bread will dazzle everyone with its gorgeous twist showing off each layer.
Chocolate Brioche Twist Ring
Active Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 10 hours
Yields 10 servings
Ingredients – Chocolate Twist Ring
1/3 cup warm milk, about 110 degrees
1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup unsalted butter, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons semisweet diced baking chocolate or chips
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
1 tsp water
Vegetable oil to grease
Ingredients – Bourbon Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
To begin yeast activation, combine warm milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a bowl. Then sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom.
In a stand-mixer bowl, combine flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Add 3 eggs and the activated yeast. Using a dough hook attachment, mix at lowest speed until fully combined.
While the mixer is running, slowly add the 1/2 cup of butter. Increase the speed to the next setting and mix until the dough is elastic and smooth (8 to 12 minutes). If dough is too wet, add flour in 1 tablespoon increments.
Transfer the dough ball into a greased bowl. Coat the dough with vegetable oil, cover with a damp cloth, and let sit for 1 hour in a warm area.
Next, deflate the dough by punching it down and let the dough rest again in the refrigerator for 4 hours to 12 hours.
To make chocolate spread, melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and chocolate pieces using the double boiler method, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat. Stir in cacao powder and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until fully combined.
To assemble, remove dough from the fridge and punch down the air.
Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 20-inch by 15-inch rectangle.
Spread the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Brush the long edge of the rectangle opposite of you with a little bit of water.
Starting from the long side closest to you, roll the dough into a log. Press seam closed, gently even out the roll, and let rest on its seam.
Trim about 3/4 inch off each end of the roll, then cut in half lengthwise.
Gently transfer the two halves of the log onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Using gentle tension, twist the two halves together and then shape into a large circle. Pinch the dough together where the ends meet.
Cover and let sit for 1 1/2 hours in a warm area.
Make an egg wash by beating together the remaining one egg and 1 teaspoon of water.
Brush the egg wash onto the dough and then bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges just begin turning golden brown.
Make the bourbon glaze by whisking together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 teaspoons bourbon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons milk until smooth.
Brush the chocolate twist with the glaze as soon as it comes out of the oven.