Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brioche with Chocolate Centers

There is really only one cookbook that truly gets me inspired to step out of my comfort-zone, dig in and try something new. Maybe it's the amazing photos or the simplicity in her recipe writing, but either way, Donna Hay has my number and my kitchen is much better for that! Each time I flip through one of her books or magazines, something inevitably jumps out at me and I'll do whatever it takes to make it as soon as possible. In this case, it was driving to the local grocery this morning, practically in my pjs, to get some butter.
I am no great baker and have never made brioche. But something about tiny little brioche tins and a thought of melted chocolate in the center of eggy, doughy bread got me out of bed earlier than usual today...

Brioche with Chocolate Centers
From Donna Hay, Entertaining, 2003.

Makes 8

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBLS sugar
2 egg yolks
4 oz butter, chopped and softened to room temp
8 large chunks dark chocolate, about 1/2 oz each, ( I used Valrhona)

Place the four and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Place the milk, vanilla and sugar in a separate bowl and mix until combined.
Add the milk mixture and the egg yolks to the flour mixture and beat on med speed until dough forms a smooth ball.
Continue beating, adding butter a little at a time, until incorporated and well beaten.
Cover the dough and set aside for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.


Mix flour mixture and milk mixture in a bowl until a soft dough forms.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Add butter, a few pieces at a time, and knead until combined.
Cover the dough and set aside for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Once dough had doubled in size, knead on lightly floured surface until soft and elastic.
Divide into 8 equal sized pieces and flatten slightly in your hand.
Place a piece of chocolate in the center of each piece and fold over dough to enclose.
Place the brioche in 8 greased and well - floured brioche tins.
Cover and set aside for 1 hour, or until the dough had doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the brioche are golden brown.
Serve warmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Colors