Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 15th February 2013

The elementary school I attended as a little girl is located directly across the street from my childhood home. I shared with you yesterday that everyone in the neighbourhood knew when my mother was making bread because the aroma escaped outdoors. I can remember sitting in my classroom and catching the first yeasty whiff. The tantalizing aroma always made me antsy and I can remember staring at the school bell and chanting to myself, ring, ring, ring! I could hardly wait to munch on the end slice with a heaping helping of Nutella. Chocolate and freshly baked bread is a match made in heaven and these Brioche à Têtes Parisiennes au Chocolat are truly irresistible.

A close up photo of Brioche à Tête au Chocolat on a round wooden cutting board with one roll cut in half showing the chocolate interior.

Working with yeast used to terrify me but the more I work with it the more comfortable I become. I made a wise choice to set aside my stand mixer for a while and prepare the dough by hand because I quickly learned what to look for and how the dough should feel at the different stages.

A close up photo of Brioche à Tête cooling on wire rack.

As I mentioned yesterday, brioche dough is so versatile and, I’m excited to start using the Poor Man’s Brioche for savoury preparations. Apparently it’s quite popular for “en croûte” (foods wrapped in pastry dough and then baked). One of my favourite “en croûte” dishes is Beef Wellington but I’ve only ever used puff pastry, I’m looking forward to preparing it with this type of brioche.

A photo of Brioche à Tête Parisiennes au Chocolat displayed on a wooden board with a plate of butter pats and butter knife and white and pink striped cloth napkin.

French Pâtisseries use the higher fat ratio brioche to make tender pie or tart dough. I am going to attempt to put this dough together, I’m not sure how successful I will be because it will be difficult to work in the large amount of fat by hand but it would be a wonderful alternative to Pasta Frolla or flaky pie dough. I think for the amount of work involved I would probably save it for special occasions.

A photo of Brioche Rolls displayed with a cup of espresso and dish of butter pats with butter knife.

You’ll notice that I didn’t achieve the same dark golden exterior on the crust compared to the plain Brioche à Têtes I shared yesterday. I’ve never given egg wash much thought until now. I firmly believe that “we eat with our eyes first” and egg wash can make pastries, pies, breads etc. look more appealing. Egg wash also seals in flavour and adds texture.

A close up photo of one Chocolate Brioche Bun on a buttercup yellow cloth napkin.

Did you know that you should add salt to egg wash and it should be prepared the day before using? Salt thins out the egg wash because egg proteins are neutralized by the salt and are no longer attracted to one another but it does take some time for this to happen hence the reason for preparing in advance.

A photo of Chocolate Brioche Rolls displayed on a black serving tray lined with dark pink cloth napkin.

Thinning out the egg wash makes it easier to apply a thin coating and it gives the baked good a professional finish. When applying egg wash it’s important that it does not pool on the pastry or around the base of the pastry, I think thinning out the egg wash will help with this task tremendously.

A photo of Brioche Rolls in brioche moulds and brioche moulds on a dark wooden board.

When you’re preparing egg wash, keep the following in mind, egg yolks provides most of the shine and colour, egg whites provide texture (crispy, flaky) and can also lighten the colour, salt adds a touch of flavour but it is mainly used to thin out the egg wash, milk or cream adds colour and, sugar provides a bit of sweetness but can also add colour. And, when preparing the egg wash, make sure the eggs are beaten well.

A photo of a white bowl lined with a bright blue and white checked napkin filled with Brioche Rolls.

While I was researching egg wash I learned a helpful tip for preparing baked goods that fall in the Viennoiserie family. A thin layer of egg wash should be applied after shaping in preparation for the final rise and then another thin layer should be applied just prior to baking. Egg washing twice ensures even colouration but also prevents a skin from forming on the pastry.

Photo of a Chocolate Brioche Roll cut in half and displayed on crumpled sheet of parchment paper with knife.

I’ve noticed most recipes for Viennoiserie only call for egg washing the pastries after shaping. I’ve always egg washed just before baking. I’m going to make an assumption but I believe the reason for this is because if care is not exercised when applying the egg wash after the final proof the dough could deflate. I would recommend using a soft bristle brush and gently brushing when applying the second coat because you could also damage the delicate pastries.

A photo of Brioche à Tête cooling on a black wire rack.

Through my journey into dessert making I’ve learned that the little details are so important. I hope some of the tips I’ve shared for preparing Brioche Dough and shaping Brioche à Têtes will help you in the kitchen. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments, I welcome the interaction.

Happy Weekend!

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Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Brioche à Tête Parisiennes au Chocolat-Chocolate Brioche Rolls”

  1. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking Says:

    I LOVE brioche and have been experimenting with different recipes lately although Julia’s version is still my favorite.
    Great idea to add some filling to them, especially if it’s chocolate, mmm

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I’ll have to try Julia’s version Roxana. You know me a little chocolate always makes me a happy girl.

  3. Stacey Says:

    these are beautiful! my mom use to make hers with nutella inside, not as stunning as your but still delsih!
    Always enjoy your posts!

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