- 150ml warm milk (ideally 38°C)
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 15g (approx. 1 tbsp) fresh yeast, or 1 tsp dried yeast
- 300g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 100g just-melted butter
- approx. 100g good chocolate, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten, for egg-wash
Mix the milk, sugar and yeast, and leave for 5 minutes. The yeast should puff up and float. If it doesn't, sit the bowl inside another bowl with some warm water in it until it does.
Meanwhile, put the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the egg yolks and the milk and yeast mixture. Mix a little with a wooden spoon. It should not be all mixed, just very roughly. Add the butter, and mix a bit more. Don't mix too much – only until it's just evenly mixed, and a little bit streaky is fine.
Leave to rise, covered, at a warm room temperature, for 30 minutes or so, until it looks puffy. If your room is cool,
you can sit the bowl of dough inside another bowl with some warm water in it, or you can just wait a little longer. It will still rise, just more slowly. Turn the oven to hot – 180-190°C, depending on your oven.
Turn the dough out onto a floured bench, and roll out to about 25cm x 40cm, trying to keep the corners square. Cut it in half the long way, and put a line of crème pâtissière down the middle of each half, the long way again, with the chocolate on top of that. For each half, fold the sides over to meet on top of the filling, turn it over so the join is on the bottom, then trim off the ends and cut it into 6 pieces.
Put on a greased oven tray and brush with the egg-wash. Leave for 10 minutes or so to rise, then brush again with the egg-wash for the ultimate gloss, and bake for 12-15 minutes. The brioches should be brown on top. Leave to cool for 5 minutes – if you can manage it. These are at their very best served still warm from the oven, sprinkled with icing sugar.