Rich, buttery sweet bread with chocolate chips makes an amazing breakfast treat or dessert! Chocolate Chip Brioche is not a quick recipe but it’s a great one to make with kids who like to get their hands “dirty” in the kitchen.
I love summer for bread baking. Why? Because the Texas heat makes everything rise faster! I can cut my rise times in half by setting my bowl on the picnic table on my back patio. The relaxed pace of summer is also perfect for bread making.
This recipe requires 3 rises: one right after you make the dough, one overnight in the refrigerator and one right before you bake. So don’t try this if you need something for a potluck in 2 hours.
It may take a while but the brioches are definitely worth the wait. Aside from rise times, it took about 1 hour to make these brioches.
I love making bread with kids. They are so excited by the “feel” of the dough and most kids are not squeemish about mess (much to our chagrin).
Yeast breads also work with short attention spans. Kids help make the dough for 20 minutes, go play while it rises, come back for a few minutes to punch it down, go play, come back to shape and bake it.
Nearly all the brioche recipes I found require a heavy duty mixer (one that can handle bread dough) but my Kitchenaide mixer is back in Texas and my Cambodian mixer is pathetic.
I needed to make this brioche the old fashioned way which is also the perfect way to make it with kids. If you have a heavy duty mixer, you can cut your prep time by about 30 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Brioche starts with a fairly firm dough but as you knead in the butter, it gets softer and softer until it’s more like a batter. Your hands (or your kid’s hands) will be a bit of a mess but that’s ok. It’s part of the fun. I suppose you could use a spoon but what’s the fun in that? I also found that I could feel any bits of unmixed butter more easily than I could see them.
You can also use a muffin pan – just use every other cup so there’s plenty of space for rising. Since I only had 12 silicone cupcake holders so I rolled the last 4 pieces of dough into logs. I braided three together and wound the last one into a spiral. The baking times were about the same for these variations as for the brioche a tete version.
You can also freeze this dough (after the refrigeration and cutting into 16 pieces steps) to keep for up to one month. Since brioche is best served warm, you could pull a few pieces out of the freezer as opposed to cooking it all at once. You can also make it all at once and reheat left overs in a 325°F oven. If your family eats fresh baked bread like mine does, there won’t be any left overs.
- ½ cup whole milk, heated to 110°F (just hot to touch)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ tablespoons yeast
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 tablespoon-sized pieces, softened
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
- pinch salt
- Mix warm milk, yeast, and sugar together. Let stand for 10 minutes until frothy. Whisk in eggs.
- Mix the flour and salt together. Add to the yeast mixture and knead lightly until all flour is incorporated.
- Knead in butter one to two tablespoons at a time. I broke my butter into pea-sized pieces before kneading it in. After about ¼ to ½ cup of butter, the dough will be VERY sticky. Let your inner toddler out (or let your child do the kneading). Mash the remaining butter into the dough like a child mashes clay. I used a grab and squeeze routine with both hands to mix in the remaining butter. It took me about 30 minutes to knead in all the butter. Knead in chocolate chips.
- Shape into a ball (as much as you can). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or until double.
- Use a spatula or your hands to pull the dough away from the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 16 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let warm until almost room temperature.
- Roll into balls on a lightly floured surface. Then place the side of your hand about ⅓ from the end and start rolling to form the “head.” Use 2-3 fingers to lengthen the “neck” that holds the head to the larger ball of dough (it will look a bit like a rolling pin). Use your thumbs to poke a hole in the larger end. Fold the head through the hole. When you turn it over, you will have a circle of dough around the outside and a ball in the middle. This is a good video on how to shape brioche à tête.
- Press into buttered 3 inch wide (7-8 cm) brioche pans or use buttered silicone molds. Place on baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until double (about 1 hour).
- While the dough is rising, make the egg wash by whisking 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk with a pinch of salt. Let this sit for about 1 hour before using.
- Brush tops with egg wash but don’t let the egg wash get in the pans. Bake in center of a preheated 375°F oven for 18 minutes. Remove from pans immediately after baking and cool on a rack.
- Brioche is best served warm. You can reheat brioche in a 250°F oven until crisp on the outside.