A recipe for soft, rich chocolate chip brioche buns with a light and fluffy texture. The perfect addition to any special breakfast or brunch
Table of contents
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easier than other fancy breads! I once spent about a year trying to master croissants so that I could make pan au chocolate, or chocolate filled pastries. Let me tell you, those are hard to make and mine were never that great. Lucky for me, I discovered how much easier it is to make brioche, which tastes totally different but still feels fancy. Adding chocolate chips just made good sense.
- It’s soft, sweet, and delicious. Brioche is a French bread that is enriched with sugar, eggs, and milk. This makes it softer, richer, and sweeter than your average bread recipe.
- No trouble at all unless you’re kneading by hand. It’s very simple to make if you have a bread machine or a stand mixer because you don’t have to deal with the sticky dough on your hands. .
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
You’ll need the following for these super soft rolls:
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- Instant yeast. Instant yeast is the best for home bakers, and especially when making brioche, as it is a little slower to rise.
- chocolate chips
- Sparkling sugar or pearl sugar. This is optional, but gives a little extra sweetness and crunch to the buns, and gives a hint that they are going to be more a dessert than a bread.
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- Parchment paper. Makes dealing with a sticky dough so much easier! I reuse this a few times to make it a better value.
- A simple bread machine or stand mixer.
Step One: prep and mix ingredients
You’ll want to begin with slightly warm or room temperature ingredients. Cold milk, eggs, or butter will fight against the yeast and make it harder for the dough to rise.
To warm up the cold ingredients, I simply microwave the water, milk, and butter for 45 seconds on low in a glass measuring cup. The eggs can be left out on the counter or dunked in a cup of warm water for a few minutes.
When you are using instant yeast, you don’t need to worry about adding the ingredients in any particular order. Just dump everything (except the chocolate chips!) into your bread machine or the bowl of your stand mixer.
Step Two: knead
Press the dough cycle if using a bread machine, or knead on low with your mixer using the dough hook. (Read this if you need more help using your stand mixer to knead the dough.) You’ll want to make sure all the flour gets incorporated, so use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
At first, the dough will seem very wet and sticky, but it will tighten up a bit as it kneads. If it still seems very wet, almost like a batter rather than dough, add more flour a few teaspoons at a time. It should seem sticky but not wet.
Step three: mix in the chocolate chips
Once the dough has come together, add the chocolate chips and let them knead in for just a minute or two. If you are using a bread machine, this means you have to be aware of when the kneading portion of the cycle is about to end.
Step Four: the first rise
Once you are satisfied with the dough, allow it to rise for one hour at warm room temperature. It should look very puffy and have doubled in size when it is done.
Step Five: shape and rise again
Now it’s time to divide them into rolls. One tip: make them small! Since chocolate chip brioche is so rich, big rolls are overwhelming to eat and look disturbingly like hamburger rolls. Divide this recipe into 18 pieces or more. If the dough sticks too much to your hands, lightly oil them with cooking spray.
Shape them gently and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. They will touch as they rise and bake. Brush them with an egg wash, which gives the brioche a beautiful golden color. You can sprinkle them with sparkling sugar.
When you cover the rolls for the final rise, make sure you use something that won’t stick. My preference is plastic wrap that’s been heavily sprayed with cooking spray. If you use a tea towel, it’s likely to stick, which will ruin the rolls.
Let them rise in a slightly warm place for about 45 minutes, or until very puffy.
Step six: bake!
Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400. The buns will be very golden brown. You can let them cool slightly right on the baking sheet and have people pull them apart. Or you can remove them to a cooling rack and serve them individually.
🥫 Storage instructions
Your rolls will stay fresh at room temperature about 2 days. Because of all the moisture in them, they don’t keep particularly well when they’re sealed up.
They do freeze beautifully, and I’d recommend popping them in a freezer bag after the first day. You can defrost them and then slightly warm them in the microwave to enjoy with your coffee.
Yes, you sure can! Mini ones are great, and so are white chocolate. The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is chocolate shavings, as it will sort of melt into the dough and give you more of a swirled bread.
This is a tough one because I never want to hold you back from making something because you don’t have a certain tool. But to be honest, these are such a challenge to knead by hand! If you’re patient and have a cool kitchen, it might work.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- An egg wash will make bread appear dark as it bakes, which may make you think it’s done when it isn’t! Use a thermometer to check, or pull apart one of the buns to make sure it’s baked through
- Dough sticking to your hands while you shape the rolls? Try spraying with nonstick spray first.
- Make your buns small! They are rich and giant buns are not as appetizing.
📘 Related Recipes
🍽 Serve it with
📖 Here’s the recipe
Chocolate Chip Brioche
For the dough
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour up to 4 cups if needed
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
To top the buns
- 1 egg beaten
- Sparking or pearl sugar
- Place the water, milk, and butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave on low for 45-60 seconds.
- Add all the dough ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to a large mixing bowl or to the bucket of your bread machine, and knead. This dough is difficult to to knead by hand, but does well in a stand mixer or bread machine on the dough cycle. The dough will seem very wet at first, but should tighten up as it kneads. You are looking for a sticky dough that still forms a ball. It will stick to to the sides and but should still hold its shape. It is seems more like a batter, add more flour a tablespoon at a time.
- When the dough is smooth and elastic, add the chocolate chips and gently knead to mix them throughout. If you are using a bread machine, this means you will need to pay attention to the timer and add them when about 3 minutes remain on the knead cycle. (If you are using a bread machine, skip ahead to step 5 once the machine beeps.)
- Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk.
- Turn out onto a countertop or cutting board and divide into eighteen pieces. Gently shape into round balls. If the dough sticks to your hands, try spraying your hands with cooking spray. Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet. They will all fit on one sheet and will be relatively close together. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Cover with heavily greased plastic wrap and allow to to rise at warm room temperature for 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 400 with the rack in the center.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes until the rolls are very golden brown. They will rise and touch each other to create soft, pull apart rolls. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire rack. Best served immediately while slightly warm.