These incredibly soft and fluffy chocolate brioche buns can be made with a few staple ingredients. This is an easy-to-follow recipe for buttery brioche dough that’s filled with chocolate chips and shaped into knotted buns. Best enjoyed fresh from the oven, these pillowy chocolate brioche rolls make an easy breakfast, tasty snack, or delicious afternoon tea.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy: Yeast dough can be a bit intimidating but if you follow my easy instructions you’ll be able to easily make these soft and fluffy chocolate bread rolls (aka Schokobrötchen).
- Staple ingredients: This recipe uses only staple ingredients you most likely have on hand.
- Crowd pleaser: Who doesn’t like chocolate? These soft chocolate chip buns are much loved by kids and adults alike.
- Flour – All-purpose flour or plain flour works well for this recipe.
- Milk – Full-fat milk gives the buns a rich taste and a soft texture. You can use lower-fat options as well.
- Butter – Unsalted grass-fed butter creates light and fluffy buns. You can use salted butter instead, simply omit the additional salt in the recipe.
- Yeast – Active dried yeast, instant, or fresh yeast can be used as a leavening agent. Adjust the quantity by following the packet’s instructions.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar helps to activate the yeast and gives the buns their subtle sweetness.
- Egg – I recommend using a free-range egg if it’s within your budget.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract adds extra flavor to the buns. You can also use vanilla essence or fresh vanilla beans.
- Chocolate – Milk chocolate drops or chips both work well. You can choose dark chocolate if you like it less sweet.
- Salt – A pinch of fine sea salt helps round out the flavors. Table salt works as well.
Tips for fluffy chocolate brioche buns
- Make sure to fully activate the yeast before adding it to the dry ingredients. If it doesn’t bubble within a few minutes, the yeast might be too old. The milk needs to be lukewarm, not hot.
- To test if the dough has finished proofing, gently poke the dough with your finger. It should leave an indentation and slowly spring back. If the dough springs back straight away, it needs a little longer. If it doesn’t spring back, you have over-proofed it in which case you can still use the dough but the buns will be denser.
- After the first rise, gently fold the chocolate chips into the dough and shape the knotted buns before the second rise.
- Don’t skip the second rise. After working the dough it’ll need time to rise and relax a little.
- Classic bun shape: You can easily create 8 classic brioche buns or rolls instead of knotted buns using this recipe.
- Chocolate-filled center: Simply shape classic rolls and add some chocolate chips or a large piece of chocolate to the center of the bun.
- Double chocolate buns: Add 2 tbsp of dutch processed cocoa powder to create double chocolate buns.
- Triple chocolate buns: Add the cocoa powder as described above and drizzle the final buns with melted chocolate.
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How do you store chocolate buns?
Brioche buns are best enjoyed fresh but you can store these buns in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Reheat them slightly in the oven and add some extra butter when serving.
Can I freeze chocolate bread rolls?
Yes. You can freeze the shaped dough as well as the baked buns in a freezer-proof container for up to 3 months. Simply defrost at room temperature and either bake the dough or reheat the already baked buns in the oven or microwave.
Chocolate Brioche Buns
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter unsalted
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup chocolate chops
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 egg yolk
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is lukewarm (100F/37C). Add the butter in small cubes and melt it in the warm milk. Ensure the mixture is still lukewarm and remove it from the heat.1 cup milk, 1/3 cup butter
- Add the dried yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar and stir thoroughly until the yeast is starting to dissolve. Set aside.1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
- In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Add the activated yeast, a beaten egg, and the vanilla essence, and mix everything thoroughly for about 5 minutes.1 pinch salt, 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar
- Form a large dough ball and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Let it rest in a warm spot for 45 minutes for the first rise.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.1/2 cup chocolate chops
- Roll the dough out into a 30x30cm square using a rolling pin, and add the chocolate chips evenly. Roll the dough up from one end and cut the roll into 8 evenly sized portions.
- Using your hands, roll each portion into a 20cm/8inch log. To make the knotted buns, start by creating a U shape with the log. Twist the two top ends around each other twice. Fold the twisted top down into the hole and tuck it in. Place it on the lined baking tray and repeat the process for the other buns.
- Cover with a tea towel and let the chocolate buns rest for 15 minutes for the second rise.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/356F.
- Brush the knotted buns with the egg yolk and milk glaze, and bake them for 20 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool down a little and enjoy warm!1 tbsp milk, 1 egg yolk