This, by and large, will be my favorite episode we will be posting because life would not be the same without bread and chocolate. This dough is rich and wonderful and needs to spend about 8 hours in the fridge before shaping.
BRIOCHE (makes one standard loaf of brioche or babka)
- 200g (7 oz) butter
- 120g (½ cup) whole milk
- 40g (3 Tbsps) sugar
- 7g (2 ½ tsps) active dry yeast (one packet)
- 3 eggs
- 1 yolk
- 390g (3 cups) bread flour
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
Cream the butter in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until no chunks appear. Set aside in a separate bowl and replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook.
Place the milk, sugar, yeast, eggs and yolk in the stand mixer bowl. Add the flour and salt and turn the mixer on, kneading until you see a smooth dough that doesn’t tear when you stretch it to find if the windowpane has formed.
Add the butter, mixing just until it is incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 8 hours, or for up to 3 days.
Lightly flour your counter and shape your dough, either to roll it up and place seam-down in a loaf pan or roll out into a rectangle about 12″ by 6″, ready to spread the babka filling (see below). Proof at room temperature for about two hours. Egg wash and bake at 325°F until lovely and dark golden (you can also test the internal temperature of the bread, which should read 185°F).
BABKA FILLING (enough for two loaves)
- 112g (4 ounces) chocolate pieces
- 112g (1 stick) butter
- 30g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
- 60g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
- any extras your heart is set on- like crumbled almond paste, dried fruit, etc.
Melt the butter and stir in the extras. Set aside to use when ready to shape.