Treat of the Week: Cinnamon Raisin Chocolate Brioche

Cinnamon Raisin Chocolate Brioche by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

It seems like a breakfast item, and it well could be, but this week’s treat of the week could be enjoyed any time of the day. I do like a good cinnamon roll, but this is so much more. The brioche dough makes a roll that is completely different from a traditional cinnamon roll. This is much less gooey and far more light and airy. Plus… there’s chocolate. You can’t go wrong with that.

I’ve used my standard brioche dough and taken it up a peg. If you haven’t made brioche before, I highly recommend it for this recipe or just on its own. It requires a time commitment for developing, but the actual ‘hands on’ time is very minimal. There is a bit of magic in this dough… and a lot of butter. That, and the process, results in a delicate 'bread meets pastry' finish.

savour… butter 


Before you start:

When you begin the dough won’t look like much more than a sticky mess.  Be patient.  It gets better.

Be sure to plan appropriately.  While your effort is minimal, the overall process takes several hours.

The dough will rise very little during the time between mixing and placing it in the refrigerator.  This time is mostly getting the dough prepared for what lies ahead.

The ingredients:

  • 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dry milk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon rapid rise or instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs plus one egg yolk
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 10 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup raisins
  • melted butter for brushing tops 
Cinnamon Raisin Chocolate Brioche by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

The method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  2. Blend with paddle attachment for about 30 seconds on low speed just to get the ingredients mixed together. Increase speed to medium high and beat for 10 minutes. The dough will look smooth and silky. Scrape the sides of the bowl to get the dough into a ball in the middle of the bowl bottom. Replace the paddle with the hook attachment and continue on medium low for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough and place in a large lightly greased bowl to rise. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, covered. It will rise only      slightly. Move the covered dough to the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 2 hours, overnight would be better.
  4. Remove the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 inches long by 15 inches wide. Add extra flour as needed if dough is still sticky.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water or in the microwave. Spread the chocolate over the dough leaving about 1 inch along one long edge. Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar, then cinnamon. Distribute the raisins evenly over the chocolate.
  6. Position the dough with the long edge that is NOT covered in chocolate nearest to you. Begin rolling tightly from the opposite long edge toward you. When the roll is complete pinch a seam with the uncovered edge and the outside of the roll.
  7. Cut the roll into equal parts about 1½ to 1¾ inches wide. Place the rolls, cut side up, in small loaf pans or a muffin tin. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Allow the dough to rise, covered with a tea towel, for 1½ to 2 hours. The rolls will be nearly double in size and puffy.
  8. Preheat your oven to 375˚F.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until medium golden brown on top. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto rack to cool completely. Top with melted chocolate if desired.