- 7 gm dry yeast (1 sachet)
- 300 gm plain flour (2 cups)
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175 gm butter, diced, at room temperature
- 170 gm Valrhona Manjari with Candied Orange Peel chocolate (64% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk for eggwash
- Pure icing sugar, for dusting
- 1Combine yeast and 1½ tbsp lukewarm water in a small bowl and stand until foamy (5 minutes). Combine flour, sugar and ½ tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add eggs and yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms. Gradually add butter, mixing in each addition before adding the next, until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic. Transfer to a lightly buttered bowl, cover indirectly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size (1-2 hours), then knock back lightly, cover and refrigerate overnight to prove and allow flavours to develop.
- 2Divide brioche into quarters. Working with a piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered and refrigerated, knock back and roll to a rough 30cm x 14cm rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a sheet of baking paper, scatter a third of the chocolate over, leaving a 1cm border. Repeat with another piece of dough and place on top of the first, then scatter with half the remaining chocolate. Repeat again using all the chocolate, then roll the last piece of dough and place on top. Roll dough lightly to press and smooth, then transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate to rest and firm slightly (30-40 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 190C. Along the long sides of brioche, slice inwards at 2cm intervals, leaving a 2cm strip uncut along the middle, creating a fringe of thick strips on the sides. Then, working from each end, fold and overlap the strips inwards so they come to the centre and pinch to join as so they don't separate during baking. Set brioche aside to prove until risen by a quarter again (15-20 minutes), then brush with eggwash and bake until puffed and golden and cooked through (25-30 minutes). Cool briefly, then dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Brioche is best eaten on the day it's made, but can be reheated successfully in a low oven the next day.
Note We've chosen Valrhona Manjari with Candied Orange Peel dark chocolate for its citrus note. It's available from select delicatessens and Simon Johnson food shops. If it's unavailable, use a dark chocolate with 58%-66% cocoa solids.