Sometimes we just want to make something special. Something fruity, something chocolatey, something enriched with a whole cup of butter. These brioche buns stuffed with chocolate and raspberry puree are special. They taste of sweet raspberries dotted with chocolate and all wrapped up in a decadent brioche bun. Chocolate raspberry brioche buns are the Valentine treat you didn’t know you wanted to make. I baked up a bunch of them before Valentine’s Day, froze them and will re-heat a couple for our Valentine breakfast…along with this favorite chocolate puff oven pancake and of course a sugar cookie or two.
Brioche is an enriched dough, meaning it is made with a lot of eggs, butter and milk. The majority of the liquid in this dough comes from eggs (and milk). Do you remember hearing the quote attributed to Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake!”? Translated properly, the phrase would read, “Let them eat brioche!” At the time of Marie Antoinette, only the very rich could afford brioche, which was highly enriched with expensive butter. Brioche can be made with 100% butter (this is super rich and the dough becomes very difficult to handle), 50% butter (which is what I use for this recipe), or even 20% butter is still considered brioche. Each of these doughs are delicious in their own right, but I have found this recipe to be the perfect amount of butter/flour ratio for these buns.
Use a Stand Mixer for Brioche
Brioche often needs the use of a stand mixer. It is a very, very soft dough and difficult to knead by hand as you incorporate the butter. One of the goals when mixing brioche is to keep the dough at room temperature while the butter incorporates. If your hands are warm, they are going to melt the dough as you knead. I prefer using my Bosch mixer to make brioche dough, because this dough needs a long mix to incorporate all the butter and to develop the gluten.
Evolution of Brioche: From Crumbly to Soft Dough
To begin making this dough, mix together the warm milk, bread flour and instant yeast. Let this mixture sit for 10-20 minutes until it gets nice and yeasty and starts to expand a bit. The sugars in the milk help activate the yeast. Continue adding in the eggs, flour, sugar and salt and mix until you get a crumbly and fairly stiff dough. Mix with your stand mixer for a few minutes before adding the butter. Cut the butter into Tablespoons and add a Tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes very shiny and all the butter is incorporated. You will notice the texture of the dough begin to change as you continue mixing. I like to set a timer and just let my mixer mix for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is very shiny, silky and smooth. It may also be a little sticky to the touch.
Refrigerating Brioche (4 hours or longer)
Once the brioche has been thoroughly mixed, transfer the dough to a large bowl. It will feel different (more wet/sticky) than most doughs. That is okay! Cover the dough with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge until chilled all the way through, at least four hours or up to overnight. While in the fridge the cold air helps solidify the butter and makes the dough more workable and easier to shape. I like to mix my dough the night before for a morning bake or I mix in the morning and then bake for an after school snack, because who doesn’t love fresh brioche when they get off the school bus?
Make the Raspberry Puree
If you have a favorite raspberry jam (seedless is my preference), you can use that in place of making the raspberry puree. The puree itself is fairly simple to whisk up and tastes delicious. Place 6 oz raspberries into a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons water. If you use frozen raspberries, use 1 Tablespoon water instead of 2. Mash up the raspberries and let the mixture come to a boil at medium heat. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the raspberry puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a container. Use a spatula or stir the raspberry mixture as it strains through. Mix around until all you have left in the strainer is seeds. Make sure you check the underside of the strainer to get any extra puree that might be there before discarding the seeds. You will end up with about 1/4 -1/3 cup raspberry puree. Let the puree cool before using in these chocolate raspberry brioche buns.
Preparing the Parchment Paper
This recipe makes about 16 brioche buns, so you will need 16 pieces of parchment paper to line the muffin tins. Cut a square of parchment paper (you can eyeball this with your own muffin tin). Fold the square in half, then half again to make a smaller square. Holding the tip of the parchment, cut a circular arc as seen in the photo below. Repeat until you have 16 pieces of parchment paper.
Shaping the Brioche Buns
Now for the fun part! Shaping the brioche buns. After at least 4 hours of chilling, dump the dough out on a counter. Use a kitchen scale to weigh small balls of dough, about 75 grams per ball. Working quickly (so as not to heat up the dough too much), roll the ball of dough into a small rectangle. Spread about a teaspoon of raspberry puree on the dough. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Fold the dough on top of itself (hot dog style). Holding both ends of the dough, twist the dough. Starting at one end, roll the dough into a swirled bunch shape. Place a piece of cut parchment paper over a muffin tin and drop the bun into the center of the parchment. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
Second Rise and Baking Brioche
Lightly cover the brioche buns and let rise until puffed up, at least an hour. Due to the enriched dough, these buns may not quite double in size, but they will look puffed up and fill out the tin a bit. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make a quick egg wash with one egg and a teaspoon of water, scrambled together. Brush it over the top of the buns right before placing in the oven. Bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes until golden on top and baked through. Let cool.
Chocolate raspberry brioche buns are decadent and make for the perfect special occasion breakfast. I hope you love them. Enjoy!
Yes. This brioche dough works great for a swirled loaf. Separate the dough into two portions. Spread the puree, sprinkle the chocolate chips, shape and assemble like this Babka. Let rise, egg wash and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, I would not recommend making this recipe by hand. Try using this roll recipe that is easier to knead by hand. Add the raspberry/chocolate and follow the brioche shaping instructions instead.
Brioche is a bread enriched with butter and eggs unlike a traditional sandwich loaf which is often made with water and oil. Brioche has a longer shelf life, takes longer to rise and is light and fluffy when baked.
The brioche dough can be refrigerated up for 24-48 hours before bing shaped and baked.
Brioche can be stored at room temperature for about 24 hours. After that I like to freeze brioche. When I’m ready to eat I thaw for a couple hours or re-heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.
Chocolate Raspberry Brioche Buns
- 1/2 cup bread flour 75 grams
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup milk 117 grams, warmed to the temperature of baby's bathwater
- 5 eggs 250 grams
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour 500 grams
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened and cut into Tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1/4-1/3 cup raspberry puree (store bought or made according to recipe below) reserved for shaping
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips reserved for shaping
- 1 egg reserved for egg wash
- 6 oz raspberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup bread flour, instant yeast and 1/2 cup warm milk. Let stand for about 30 minutes until puffed up and risen.
- Add the eggs and sugar. Mix together. Add the bread flour and salt. This will be stiff, almost a little crumbly and that is okay. Knead for 3-5 minutes.
- Cut the softened butter into Tablespoon sized chunks. With the mixer running, add the butter a chunk at a time until all the butter has been added to the mixer. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until the butter is fully combined and the dough looks shiny and smooth. It should be sticky but not overly sticky at this point.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- While the dough is refrigerating, prepare the raspberry puree and the parchment paper (Directions for raspberry puree is below. Directions/pictures for cutting the parchment are in the post)
- Once the dough has risen for 4+ hours, transfer to a countertop. Split dough into 16 pieces, about 75 grams per dough ball.
- Shape bun: Take a piece of dough. Roll out into a small rectangle on the counter. Spread 1 teaspoon of raspberry puree in the middle. Sprinkle 12-15 semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of the raspberry puree. Fold the dough in half. Holding both ends, twist the dough and then swirl into a bun shape. Place on top of a piece of parchment paper and into a muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
- Cover the buns and let rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Egg Wash: Scramble one egg together with a teaspoon of water and brush onto the risen buns.
- Bake buns for 15-20 minutes until golden on top and baked all the way through. Enjoy!
- Place 6 oz raspberries into a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons water. If you use frozen raspberries, use 1 Tablespoon water instead of 2. Smoosh up the raspberries and let the mixture come to a boil at medium heat. Boil for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour the raspberry puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a container. Use a spatula or stir the raspberry mixture as it strains through. Mix around until all you have left in the strainer is seeds. Make sure you check the underside of the strainer to get any extra puree that might be there before discarding the seeds. You will end up with about 1/4 -1/3 cup raspberry puree. Let puree cool before using.
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