Rich, buttery sweet bread with chocolate chips makes an amazing breakfast treat or dessert! Chocolate Chip Brioche is not a quick recipe but it’s a great one to make with kids who like to get their hands “dirty” in the kitchen.
I love summer for bread baking. Why? Because the Texas heat makes everything rise faster! I can cut my rise times in half by setting my bowl on the picnic table on my back patio. The relaxed pace of summer is also perfect for bread making. This recipe requires 3 rises: one right after you make the dough, one overnight in the refrigerator and one right before you bake. So don’t try this if you need something for a potluck in 2 hours. It may take a while but the brioches are definitely worth the wait. Aside from rise times, it took about 1 hour to make these brioches.
I love making bread with kids. They are so excited by the “feel” of the dough and most kids are not squeemish about mess (much to our chagrin). Yeast breads also work with short attention spans. Kids help make the dough for 20 minutes, go play while it rises, come back for a few minutes to punch it down, go play, come back to shape and bake it.
Nearly all the brioche recipes I found require a heavy duty mixer (one that can handle bread dough) but my Kitchenaide mixer is back in Texas and my Cambodian mixer is pathetic. I needed to make this brioche the old fashioned way which is also the perfect way to make it with kids. If you have a heavy duty mixer, you can cut your prep time by about 30 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Brioche starts with a fairly firm dough but as you knead in the butter, it gets softer and softer until it’s more like a batter. Your hands (or your kid’s hands) will be a bit of a mess but that’s ok. It’s part of the fun. I suppose you could use a spoon but what’s the fun in that? I also found that I could feel any bits of unmixed butter more easily than I could see them.
The rise times in the recipe are based on “normal” temperatures – not the Texas heat. Since I don’t have brioche pans, I cooked my chocolate chip brioches in silicone cupcake holders (worked great!). You can also use a muffin pan – just use every other cup so there’s plenty of space for rising. Since I only had 12 silicone cupcake holders so I rolled the last 4 pieces of dough into logs. I braided three together and wound the last one into a spiral. The baking times were about the same for these variations as for the brioche a tete version.
You can also freeze this dough (after the refrigeration and cutting into 16 pieces steps) to keep for up to one month. Since brioche is best served warm, you could pull a few pieces out of the freezer as opposed to cooking it all at once. You can also make it all at once and reheat left overs in a 325°F oven. If your family eats fresh baked bread like mine does, there won’t be any left overs.
Epicurean sent me a beautiful walnut display board that was the perfect size to serve my chocolate chip brioches. The medium size is perfect for so many things – cheese and crackers, cookies and peanut butter s’mores cheesecake dip, fruit and chocolate ganache… The list goes on. You can win this board and the hexagon board by entering the contest below. You must live in the lower 48 continental United States to enter. Good luck!