Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche

I’m seriously on a bread kick this month. The smell of a warm loaf of bread straight from the oven is just what this chilly weather calls for! Week 47: Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche



Happy Thanksgiving  ya’ll! This could be a the perfect way to start off a day of marathon cooking – make brioche the day before and then whip up some magnificent french toast Thanksgiving morning like it’s nothing!


Brioche seems innately difficult due to it’s French name. Don’t let that stop you! It is, simply put, an enriched yeast dough. That means that it’s normal bread dough plus the good stuff, like butter and eggs.

There’s a wide variety of brioche textures, since it all depends on how much fat is added. The butter (fat) percentage can range anywhere from 20% (used in bread puddings and other recipes that have more added yumminess) to 80% (whew!). This recipe I think is in the 30-40% range or so. It’s still light and fluffy, but also has that lovely buttery richness to each bite.


To be honest, this is one of the bakes I’ve wanted to do since the first month of this blog. I kept having reasons to pick other baked goods to tackle, but I finally got around to broaching the brioche topic this week.



Not a full mis en place, but the main characters of this story are out for display.



Have I sung the praises of the tilt-head on this mixer yet? Well, it’s awesome. I grew up using a handle-lift version where the bowl goes up and down to meet the hook. I’ll always have some loyalty to that design, but this is just so convenient!



So I slightly miscalculated the capacity of the mixer and the proportions of the recipe. Had to backtrack a little bit and do half at a time so as to not overwhelm the mixer. Stressed out kitchen appliances only leads to sadness (as the case of my broken mixer will show you. Some dough is just too strong for one little KitchenAid.)



Dough hooks are fun to watch at work, amiright? They look like they aren’t helping at all and then you turn away for just a second, turn back and boom, there’s dough. Apparently if you are kneading brioche dough by hand, it can double as a workout/therapy. Since it’s so elastic and non-cooperative, you have to slap it against the pastry board to get it knead correctly.


Except for the fact that it almost broke my toe on Sunday, this pastry board gets two thumbs up! PSA for other clumsy bakers out there: it’s marble, therefore it’s slippery and extremely heavy – watch yo selves please.

The dough was fun to roll out! Squishy texture that bounced back when rolled out (but only a little.) Not too sticky, not crumbly. Twas the Goldilocks of dough.


I think spreading the filling almost all the way to the edges is the way to go. So, do as I say not as I do?


This is a two string plait (it’s a twist, let’s be real.) If I do larger loaves next time, I’ll try a three or four string plait. Maybe even in a circle! Plaited bread wreathes are so pretty.



Ready for a sauna!



Texture alert! Lots of air pockets equal lots of space to soak up cream and egg for the perfect French toast. A little chocolate hazelnut spread baked in doesn’t hurt.


As with all yeast dough, this one took some patience to complete. But not only did it turn out well, this recipe made 6 loaves! Plenty for sharing and hogging all to yourself at the same time. Happy munching!



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