Friday 8 April 2016

Chocolate Spiral Brioche

I be-moaned the fact that brioche took forever to make a while back, which was the main reason I didn't make it very often. I found myself with a surfeit of eggs, so decided to try doing a brioche around my normal life, and see if it was possible to leave it to prove throughout the day.

The first part was fairly easy...I made the dough up on a Thursday evening...this isn't that time consuming, as it just involves sitting next to the stand mixer and occasionally tossing in a lump of butter. once that was done, and the dough had that glossy, smooth consistency you're looking for, I scraped it into a greased bowl, covered it in cling film, and put it in the fridge to prove overnight.

The next morning I got up at my normal time (about 6:30am), and went about the shaping process. I'd already decided that I was going to try and jazz the loaf up, so attempted a chocolate spiral pattern inside the loaf. I used a 20cm springform tin, and started off by putting a ball of dough (about 1/8th of the total amount) in the middle of the tin. The rest of the dough I rolled out into a large rectangle, and covered it in 200g of plain chocolate (50% cocoa solids, I use Lindt cooking chocolate, which I find to be very well behaved) which I'd chucked in a food processor, and blitzed to a fairly fine consistency. That done, I rolled it up into a reasonably tight tube, and placed this around the ball in the middle of the tin, put the tin in a cake holder in the kitchen, and left it to ride while I went to work.

Our kitchen is typically about 15-16'C during the day at this time of year (it doesn't get much sun, and it's still fairly cool outside), and I was hoping that it would not over-prove in the 7-8 hours I was away. Unfortunately I was a bit off, and it had definitely gone over the edge, looking a bit saggy. Nevertheless, I popped it in the oven (190'C, for 40-45 minutes, and applying a tin hat after about 30 minutes to stop the top from catching), and out came a complete loaf.

Once it was (almost) cooled (we were fairly hungry!) I sliced it open, and the spiral was there, but if had been pushed a long way to the edge by the central ball of dough.

So, the concept worked, but it needs some refinement. Things I'll change for next time;

1) I can't do the second prove un-attended...or at least not at room temperature. I might try doing the same in the fridge, and see if I get better results

2) The ring idea was not quite right...not only was the central ball capable of pushing everyone else around, the join was not very neat. Next time I'll use a traditional loaf tin, and do a single spiral along the length of it.

3) Possibly too much chocolate, and if you're going to add a sweet filling, the bread dough might need a little more sugar (or some other flavouring...perhaps orange?), otherwise it tastes flat.

Chocolate Spiral Brioche Recipe

The bread dough was identical to the first time I did it, so I won't re-type that bit. The cooking was identical as well, so I'll just go over the assembly process.


  • 200g plain (40-45%) chocolate
1) Put the chocolate in a food processor with the blade attachment

2) Blitz the chocolate until it resembles a fine gravel

3) Take the dough out of the fridge, and knock back

4) Take 1/8th of the dough, form a ball and place in the middle of a 20cm springform tin

5) Roll the rest of the dough out to approximately 20 inches x 15 inches rectangle on a heavily floured surface (the dough it very sticky, be warned!)

6) Spread the chocolate gravel out over the rectangle, and push into the dough slightly

7) Roll the dough into a tight roll, with the chocolate on the inside.

8) Place the dough sausage around the ball in the middle of the tin

..after this you continue with the original brioche recipe...allow it to prove until it's just cresting the top of the tin, then bake at 190'C for 40-45 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean, though try and avoid the chocolate when you test it!)