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Though brioche is typically a breakfast bread, these buns are more suited to dessert. (Although, as a breakfast, they will certainly motivate your sleepyheads out of bed.)
Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 5 hours 15 minutes
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 2¾ cups sugar
- 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs, divided
- 6 oz. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp. plus 1 pinch kosher salt
- 5 cups bread flour
- 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp. water
- In a large bowl, combine milk, 1 cup sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add cocoa powder, 3 eggs, butter, remaining sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir to combine. Add enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Return to bowl, dust the top lightly with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 3 hours. Punch dough down, fold it in half, and rise again, until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn risen dough onto floured surface and pinch off baseball-sized pieces of dough. Roll each piece into a tight ball and rest 10 minutes. Using floured fingers, press each ball into a flat disk, about ½" thick. Place 1 tablespoon chocolate chips in the center, bring edges together to conceal chocolate, and pinch to close. Place onto prepared baking sheet seam-side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine remaining egg with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water, and brush lightly onto surface of brioche. Bake until golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. Cool on a rack.