Brioche Au Chocolat
Makes 8-10 pastries
Brioche Dough – (this makes a full recipe of brioche, use half of the prepared dough for this recipe)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups bread flour
3-1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup + 6 tablespoons (2 and 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 10 or 12 pieces, softened
Pastry Cream –
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To finish –
2/3 cup chocolate chunks or semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for the egg wash)
1.To make the brioche – In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine everything except for the butter. Beat on low speed for 3-4 minutes, or until everything is combined. Stop the mixer if needed to scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is combined evenly. Once the dough is combined, continue to mix on low for another 3 to 4 minutes. It will be a little stiff; that’s okay.
2. On low speed, add the pieces of butter one at a time, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next piece of butter. Continue mixing the dough on low speed for 10 minutes, stopping every once in a while just to scrape down the bowl. This step is necessary because it allows all the butter to mix into the dough evenly.
3. Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn up the mixer to medium speed and beat for 15 minutes or until the dough becomes soft, silky, and shiny. It will look shaggy and sticky at first, but eventually it will become soft and smooth. Turn the speed up to medium high and beat for 1 minute.
4 Test the dough by pulling at it. It should stretch a bit and have a little give. If it seems wet and loose or more like a batter than a dough, add a few tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together. If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another couple of minutes or until it develops more strength. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in one piece
5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover the top of the dough with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly against the dough’s surface. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to overnight. The dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 week.
To make the pastry cream –
6. Whisk together the sugar, cake flour, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until well combined, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture until thick and pasty. Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges (do not let this boil).
7. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly drizzle into the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens, about 3 minutes. Boil, whisking, for 10 seconds (the cream will become thick and glossy) and remove from the heat.
8. Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Whisk in vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pasty cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
To assemble –
9. On a floured surface, roll out the brioche to a rectangle sized 20×10 and 1/4 inch thick. Position the dough so that the long side is facing you. Spread the pastry cream evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bottom half of the dough – a 20×5 inch section. Fold the dough in half, bringing the top section of dough down over the chocolate chips. Smoosh it into place. Use a pizza cutter or bench scraper to slice the dough into 2×5 inch pieces.
10.At this point, you can wrap the pastries tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them. When ready to bake thaw them in the fridge overnight and then continue to the next step.
11. Place the pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet a few inches apart and cover loosely with a towel. Place in a warm spot to proof for 2 hours or until the dough is pillowy.
12. Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg wash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the pastries for 22-27 minutes or until golden brown (keep an eye on these towards the end). Let cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes and serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day and rewarm in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes before serving.