Ricardo’s Chocolate Brioche Buns

Fresh buns-a-baking wasn’t part of the original 12 days of Christmas but we’re making the case for breakfast-worthy chocolate brioche.

“When I was a child, I loved that my mother put the wrapped gifts under the tree a couple of weeks before Christmas. This didn’t include the present I would get from Santa Claus, which would arrive on December 25. I remember my sister and I lying on our bellies in front of the nativity set and looking at our gifts. We would shake them and scratch a corner to figure out what was in the box as soon as my mother was gone. For us, it was super fun.

My parents never really did the Christmas morning tradition, so my wife Brigitte and I created our own with our three daughters. Now they’re 19, 17 and 14 and we still put the plate with the carrots and cookies by the fireplace and I still eat them before I go to bed, leaving a couple of bits. We’ve created these family traditions so that our children can make their own memories with their children.”  - RICARDO LARRIVÉE

30 minutes
8 people


  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk, warm
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
  • 3 ¼ cups (810 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp (4 mL) salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 bar (100 g) Lindt EXCELLENCE Ecuador 75% Cacao dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing


Step 1.

With the rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Step 2.

Combine milk and sugar in a small bowl.

Step 3.

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. With a wooden spoon or with your hands, add milk mixture, egg and butter to dry ingredients, working vigorously until a dough begins to form.

Step 4.

Place dough on a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Form a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest in a warm, humid place (see note) for 10 minutes.

Step 5.

Line a 17×12-inch (43×30-cm) baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 6.

Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. While kneading, add the chopped chocolate. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape into balls by rolling them with your hands on the counter, then place on the baking sheet. Let rise for about 45 to 60 minutes in a warm, humid place, or until balls double in size.

Step 7.

With a brush, lightly coat the buns with the beaten egg. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool then drizzle brioche buns with espresso chocolate ganache if desired. Enjoy!

Step 8.

NOTE: A microwave is a perfect place to make dough rise. By placing a cup of just boiled water next to the dough, the interior will become a warm, humid place.


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