Chocolate Brioche Wreaths


I know that I sometimes post some pretty complicated and difficult desserts on this blog. I work as a pastry cook, so making a 4 component dessert at home is pretty straight forward for me. Things that can sometimes scare a home baker, like making caramel or tempering chocolate, are as easy as can be for me. I don't mean to brag, but I'm trying to say that I know the stuff I put on here is not always easy for everyone to make.

Except these. These are easy for everyone to make.




I mean, yeah, you need a stand mixer to mix the brioche so if you don't have a stand mixer then I don't think you can make this (sorry!) but them's the brakes. Other than that, it's super easy! You mix up the brioche, let it rise, chuck it in the fridge overnight, then roll them out, roll 'em up, cut 'em, proof 'em, bake 'em. 

Easy, right? I don't even know what's easy to other people anymore. Once you make 70 kg of almond cream, line 100 tart rings, or roll out 200 croissants on a daily basis, "easy" takes on a new meaning. 






These look complicated - with all the layers and the "braiding" and the dark/light contrast, but in reality they're just logs of rolled up dough that have been cut in half. There's no laminating or complicated braiding techniques here, I promise. But there's no need to tell that to everyone else. You can just let them think you're a dough whisperer, a master of all things kneaded and baked.



These brioche are best served the day they're made (preferably warm from the oven!), but they are also pretty good the next day. I like to tear off chunks and dip them in hot chocolate or warm milk, but that might be a bit too decadent for a normal person to handle. But I recommend it because it's delicious



Chocolate Brioche Wreaths

Brioche
Recipe from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

372 g all-purpose flour
8 g instant yeast
44 g granulated sugar
9 g fine sea salt
186 g eggs
63 g whole milk
167 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/8th inch dice

Chocolate Filling

60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
30 g granulated sugar
30 g alkalized cocoa powder
2 g vanilla powder
10 g honey


Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray.

For the brioche, place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for about 15 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly. Add all of the remaining dough ingredients except for the butter and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, incorporating after each addition before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Mix for a total of 30 minutes on low speed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold the left side over to the right, the right over to the left, then the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top so you have a "package" with the seam at the top. Place the dough seam-side down in the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it ferment for 1 hour. 

Repeat the folding process, place it back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

For the filling, cream the butter until pale and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla powder and mix until incorporated, then add the honey and mix until incorporated.

Remove the brioche from the refrigerator and divide it into four equal pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time while keeping the rest in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to 40 cm by 20 cm. If the dough becomes too warm at any point, gently place it on the back of a sheet pan lined with parchment and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then continue working.

Spread one quarter of the filling onto the brioche using an offset spatula, reaching all the way to the edges but leaving 2 cm of dough bare on one of the long sides. Brush the bare part with water. Starting from the other long side, roll up the dough tightly and evenly. Once the dough is rolled up, gently roll the log until it is 50 cm in length, being careful not to squish or deform the dough. Cut each 50 cm log into two 25 cm logs.

Using a large knife, make a cut in the dough log, leaving 3 cm at the top uncut. Place the right half of dough over the left, then repeat until you have a "braid" of dough. Gently brush a bit of water onto the ends of the dough and press them together, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining doughs. You should have 8 total wreaths.

Place a piece of plastic wrap lightly on the surface of the brioche and let it proof in a warmish place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Note: I turn the shower on in my bathroom, let it run for 5 minutes, then turn it off. This makes the bathroom a little warm and a little steamy, but not too hot. I place the brioche on the counter, then close the door. This provides the most ideal proofing conditions that I can find in my apartment. If you do this, check up on the dough every 30 minutes to make sure it's not too hot!)

Preheat the oven to 330 F. Brush the brioche with egg wash, being careful not to drag any of the filling onto the brioche when you do, and bake until golden brown, abut 20 to 25 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Enjoy!

25 comments:

  1. I've been seeing this braiding technique and it looks so pretty (not to mention fairly foolproof, which is great because I have veryyy little bread experience)! Can't wait to try it when I have some down time (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only way to screw these up is if your dough gets too warm, but that's a pretty avoidable problem! Everything else is super easy, though they don't look it!

      Delete
  2. These are absolutely GORGEOUS! Like babka, but even lovelier in form. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Just like babka, actually, but instead of a loaf, they're little individual buns!

      Delete
  3. Oh these look incredible Megan! Love the idea of little wreaths instead a big loaf - they would be absolutely perfect for Christmas time. And brioche doughs that get to rise overnight in the fridge are the best - something about splitting it over two days makes it seem to take up so much less time. Although I am not a pastry chef, I get what you mean about finding things easy - something like salted caramel I have no problem with making in ten or fifteen minutes, but have had a couple of friends try it and find it almost impossible, with sugar catching and crystallising everywhere! I guess it is just down to practice and having the feel of what things should be like at each stage. Stunning photos as always too! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They would be so lovely for Christmas, especially since you can change up the filling! Maybe add cinnamon or cardamom to the chocolate or maybe orange zest!

      Exactly, it's all about practice! You know what to look for and you know what it should feel/look like at different stages. Confidence is a huge part of it, too!

      Delete
  4. These look amazing. I know what you mean about posting complex recipes. I'm just used to recipes being broken down into components that you can make individually, in stages, then coming together for a grand assembly.

    I find even making macarons has become my idea of a basic recipe now! I shall have to try these, I need to get the Bouchon Bakery book. I just got the Dominique Ansell book for my birthday, I've made cronuts twice so far, can't wait to make them again with the official recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, that what makes it manageable, too. If you can make certain components a day or two in advance then having a 6 component dessert isn't as much work. I've learned from working in a patisserie that the freezer is your friend! Certain things can last a while if they're well-wrapped and stored correctly in the freezer. I have a few different buttercreams in there, plus some rhubarb (cut up and spread on a sheet pan to freeze individually so they don't stick into one big mass) and even a few layers of sponge cake!

      And yes, you definitely need to get the Bouchon cookbook! Their macaron recipe is the one I always use (and modify) and it almost always works. They have an amazing chapter on bread that is so helpful and cool! I use their book so much, I love it.

      Delete
  5. Oh my gosh those are so flawless! I've made a chocolate wreath similar to this before, but it was nowhere near as perfect :P Love that they are mini too!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks June! And mini things are always cuter! :)

      Delete
  6. These are absolutely, jaw-droppingly gorgeous! And brioche is the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I love brioche too, you can use it for so many different things!

      Delete
  7. I love your blog! Just a question: I am used to seeing measures in cups and teaspoons, etc. Is it very time consuming to weigh out the ingredients - I just imagine it would be as I add some flour, take away some flour, find I have too little so I add some more flour again? If it is not as complicated as I imagine, I shall look into getting a small kitchen scale for I really want to try your recipes!. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Actually, using a kitchen scale is waaaay faster (and easier, cleaner, more accurate, and more consistent) than cups and such. You get your bowl, put it on the scale, add some flour until you get the right amount (only takes a few seconds), then add the rest of the things in. No cups to wash and rewash, no worrying about the right way to scoop flour, and no adding fractions (1/4 cup + 2/3 cup - no thanks, I did badly enough in high school math, I don't want a repeat). I have a kitchen scale that I've used for about 3 years now (http://www.amazon.com/Escali-157RR-Glass-Digital-Kitchen/dp/B0051ZOJFQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1446488484&sr=1-3&keywords=escali+digital+scale) and I've changed the batteries four times or so. And I used to use it every day in pastry school, so it has had a LOT of use. It's a really great scale that I highly recommend and you'll see that weighing out ingredients is the better way!

      Delete
    2. Megan, liquid grams such as milk are not the same as solid grams like flour, correct? How do you convert them? I soooo want to try this!

      Delete
  8. Is there any way to adapt this with kneading if you don't have a stand mixer? Or part hand mixer, part kneading?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never tried kneading brioche without a mixer but I can imagine it would be really difficult to incorporate the butter by kneading by hand. I don't even know if you can, I just picture the butter going all over the work surface instead of into the dough.

      Delete
  9. Hi, how would these freeze? I've never made brioche and I was going to make them ahead of time for thanksgiving day breakfast. Will the wreaths thaw well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't recommend making them completely and then thawing, they would be very dry that way. I think your best bet would be to make the dough and filling, roll it out, shape it, and then put it in the fridge overnight. By morning, they may need more proofing time or they may be ready to bake, it depends on a lot of things. I've never tried it so I can't guarantee anything, though!

      Delete
  10. This morning I tried this recepie out. Unfortunately, it really did not work out for me . The dough is salty and not sweet (do you really need 9grams?) The filling is not so sweet too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry this didn't work out for you! The brioche itself isn't meant to be super sweet, it's more neutral in terms of sweetness, but it shouldn't be salty. The filling isn't meant to be super sweet either, I was going for a more dark chocolatey taste. Are you sure you scaled it correctly? I've made this recipe tons of times and the salt has never been an issue before. Sometimes with small weights, some scales can be incorrect by a few grams. Also, what kind of salt did you use? Fine grain, coarse grain?

      Delete
  11. I love this! Will be trying them out today!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Maybe I missed a step, but how do you end up with 8 wreaths when you only have 2 logs? How do you make 8?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Alkalized cocoa powder is the same as dutch-process? I can only find natural unsweetened cocoa powder where I live. Do you think I could still use it and have good results? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete