Chocolate braided bread also known as brioche bread is super soft, fluffy and has a joyful flavor. In a mixing jar, combine 90g warm milk (about 110°F/43°C) and 4 grams sugar. Sprinkle 1tsp yeast on top of the liquid. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast activates. In a stand-mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add eggs and the activated yeast. Using a dough hook attachment, mix at low speed until it becomes a homogenous dough.
With the mixer running, gradually add chunks of butter down the side of the bowl. Increase the speed (2nd speed on Kitchen aid mixer) and mix until the dough is elastic and smooth (8 – 12 minutes). If it sticks to the sides, add a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time.
Transfer the dough ball into a greased bowl. Coat the dough with vegetable oil to prevent drying out. Cover with plastic or damp cloth and let sit for 1 hour in a warm area. Punch down the dough. Continue resting it overnight or at least for 4 hours in the fridge to develop the flavor.
Place the bowl of butter and chocolate chunks over a pot of simmering water. Stir until they are fully melted. Remove from the simmering water. Add sugar and cocoa powder. Stir to fully combine.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Punch down the air, then transfer onto a work surface. Divide it evenly into 4 pieces. Take 1 piece and cover the rest aside with a plastic or damp cloth. Roll into a thin 8×15 inch (20×38 cm) rectangle. Add ¼ of the chocolate filling and spread it evenly but leave ½-inch (1.27 cm) of the long edge bare.
Brush the bare edge with water. Starting from the other long edge, roll the dough to form a log. Cut it equally into 2 logs. Carefully stretch each to be longer by rolling and pulling. Take 1 log. Cut it lengthwise but leave ¾-inch (2 cm) at the other end uncut. Braid the 2 strands of dough by placing the left dough over the right repeatedly until the end.
Knot the dough by taking the ends of the dough to form a circle, but extend both ends past the circle (one end is on top of the other). Take the bottom end and fold it over into the center of the circle, then tuck the top end underneath towards the center. Pinch the two ends together. Place the knotted wreath on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest until you get 8 wreaths.
Cover and let them sit for 1.5 hour in a warm area. Uncover and brush each with egg wash (lightly beat the egg with water). Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
- 90g (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) warm milk
- 4g (1 tsp) granulated sugar for yeast
- 5g (1½ tsp) active dry yeast
- 400g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 4g (¾ tsp) table salt
- 3large eggs
- 113g (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 70g (5 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 70g (2.5 oz) dark chocolate chopped small
- 14g (2 tbsp) powdered or icing sugar
- 12g (2 tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5ml (1 tsp) water