(hot cross) chocolate brioches

brioche final

2 1/4 cups strong white flour
pinch salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
8 grams / 1 sachet instant dried yeast
3 eggs, beaten (plus extra for glaze)
3 tablespoons milk, hand-hot
115g / 4oz unsalted butter, diced
150g / 5oz plain chocolate, broken into squares

Sift flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add the eggs and milk.
Beat well with a fork, gradually incorporating the surrounding dry ingredients to form a fairly soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead well until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if necessary.
Add the butter to the dough, a few pieces at a time. Knead until each addition is absorbed before adding the next.
When all the butter has been incorporated and small bubbles appear in the dough, wrap it in cling wrap and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
Lightly grease 12 individual brioche tins or a 12 hole muffin tray. (I made mini ones so used 2 x 12 hole mini muffin tins).
Divide the dough into 12 / 24 pieces. Shape each one into a smooth round.
Place a chocolate square in the centre. Bring up the sides of the dough and press edges firmly together to seal.
Place brioches, join side down, in the prepared tins. Cover and leave for 30 minutes in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Brush brioches with beaten egg. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
Place on wire racks and leave until warm.
Melt remaining chocolate and drizzle over brioches. (Or pipe crosses over brioches to get the ‘hot cross bun’ look.)

*recipe from Chocolate Ecstacy, Christine France.

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