Classic brioche/Chocolate brioche swirl loaf
For the classic brioche,
you will need:
50g (1oz) caster sugar
75ml (2fl oz) warm water
25g (1oz) fresh yeast or 15g (½oz)
active dried yeast, or 2 x 7g (¼oz)
sachets fast-action yeast
4 eggs, beaten
450g (1lb) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
225g (8oz) butter, softened and cubed, plus melted butter for brushing
1 egg, beaten
Two 900g (2lb) loaf tins
1 Put the caster sugar in a large bowl and mix with the warm water and yeast. If using fresh
or active dried yeast, then leave the mixture to stand for 5 minutes until creamy. If using fast-action yeast, there is no need to leave the mixture to stand.
2 Add the beaten eggs to the yeast mixture. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and add the wet ingredients, then mix to a stiff dough with the paddle.
3 When the mixture is smooth, switch to the dough hook and put on to medium speed, adding the cubes of butter a few at a time. Continue to knead in the machine for 30 minutes. The finished dough should look silky on the outside and be coming away from the sides of the bowl.
4 Cover the bowl with cling film or a plastic bag and leave it overnight in the fridge, where it will double in size.
5 The following day, brush the loaf tins with melted butter and dust them with flour or line them with baking parchment. Remove the dough from the fridge and knock it back in the bowl by folding it in on itself. It is crucial to work quickly at this stage, otherwise the butter in the dough will begin to melt, and the dough will become too sticky to handle.
6 Divide the dough into two pieces and put them into the prepared loaf tins. Brush the top of each loaf with the beaten egg. Leave the brioches to rise in a warm place in the kitchen for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they have doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas mark 4.
7 Gently brush the loaves with beaten egg once more. Bake for 45–50 minutes until puffed and a rich golden brown. The loaves should sound almost hollow when tapped on the base after being removed from the tins. Turn out of the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the chocolate brioche, swirl loaf you will need:
1/3 x quantity of Classic Brioche dough (made to point 4, see above)
Flour, for dusting
150g (5½oz) dark chocolate (55pc-62pc cocoa solids), chopped,
or chocolate drops
1 egg, beaten
Icing sugar, for dusting
One 900g (2lb) loaf tin
1 Line the loaf tin with baking parchment. Roll out the brioche dough on a lightly floured work surface to 20cm x 30cm (8in x 12in). Scatter over the chocolate and press it into the dough. Roll up from the short end and put into the prepared loaf tin.
2 Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place in the kitchen (warm room temperature is ideal) for 1 hour or until light and risen.
3 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas mark 4. Brush the top of the loaf gently with beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until deep golden on top and golden underneath. The brioche should sound almost hollow when tapped on the base. Turn out of the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool slightly. Dust with icing sugar, cut into slices and serve.