Chocolate and Orange Confit Brioche

chocolate orange bread

With less than a week away from the most wonderful time of the year (sing that to yourself in a Bing Crosby voice), I find myself frantically baking for this Saturday and Sunday. I love passing out goodies to the neighbors each year, and while we have stacks of cookies and bars, somehow a loaf of bread is most ideal. This loaf is extra special – with both a tender crumb and studded with chocolate and orange pieces, it is breakfast and dessert, a sweet indulgence to bring tidings of comfort and joy. This recipe makes two loaves, so you can make one for snacking and one for giving. Happy Holidays!

chocolate orange bread

Chocolate and Orange Confit Brioche
Inspired by a recipe in Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft

2 1/2 pounds brioche (whole wheat brioche and challah will also work)
1/2 cup orange confit (recipe follows)(candied orange pieces can be substituted)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped into 1/2-inch shards)
egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water + Pinch salt, mixed together)

Orange Confit
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 orange, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed

Over medium high heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Stir often and dissolve the sugar.

Remove half of the syrup to a small bowl. Add the orange slices and bring to a boil. Drain the slices and discard this syrup (it will be very bitter).

Lower the heat to medium-low, add back the remaining syrup and bring to a simmer, swirling occasionally to coat the slices. Cook until it thickens (almost like marmalade), 10 to 12 minutes. Strain, and keep syrup for other use (like over toast or to glaze your breads).

Chop the orange confit slice, and set aside.


Lightly flour your work surface. Gently knead the chocolate and orange confit into the 2 pounds of brioche, and form into a ball. Let rest, covered with a kitchen towel,  for 20 minutes.

chocolate orange brioche

Divide the dough into 6 pieces, about 200 grams each.


Place the dough into a buttered pans (I used Pullman pans, but a 9 x 5 inch pan will also work. It will produce a slightly squatter loaf, and you will need to cut a few minutes off the bake time.) Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until nearly doubled in volume, 40-50 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F.

chocolate orange brioche

Brush the dough with egg wash. Bake the loaves for 45-50 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and are fully cooked (or until the middle registers about 200F on a instant-read thermometer).


Let the loaves cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with powdered sugar, if desire.

chocolate orange brioche

12 thoughts to “Chocolate and Orange Confit Brioche”

  1. I make fruitcake and an almond pound cake where the recipe calls for two 9×5 loaf pans. I bake these in mini loaf pans, 5.75 x 3-inches. Can I do the same thing with this enriched yeast bread?

    1. Hi Guillermina,

      Yes, you can, you’ll just have to reduce the rising and baking times by about half. But, go by the color and make sure they are set before removing them from the oven.

      Thanks, Zoë

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas, Zoë! I have been baking your “5 Minute Bread” for about FIVE years already. I even tried my hand at Brioche once. Thank you & Jeff for persevering all those years ago. I also own your first book. And thanks so much for answering my question…

  2. Hello – My question is about European Peasant Bread, page 46, Artisan Bread in Five minutes a day. I’m having two issues. Lately my baked loaf is misshapen, the top is always beautiful but one side “blows out” and creates what I call an “annex” – almost like a separate small loaf sticking off the side. What ever I’m doing I am doing it consistently every time. Second issue – often I get giant holes, craters really, between the crust and the top of the bread. I have to stuff the wholes with bread if I want to make a sandwich – seems to happen more when the bread is a little wet but I’m not sure. We’ve been making your bread for over 5 years – haven’t purchased store bought since that time. Appreciate any advise. Haven’t seen this issue posted.

    1. OK, try:

      Longer resting time: 90 min
      Deeper slashing

      But why did it suddenly start, you must have changed something. Flour? Oven temp (use a thermometer)? Other?

      1. Jeff – Update on your suggestions. We had work done on the oven and discovered the temperature gauge was reading low and took longer to reach 450 degrees. We let the dough proof longer and did deeper slashing. Bread has been perfect twice in a row. I think the light touch on slashing was the biggest issue. Many thanks, we are back on track! Linda Zelch

      2. Cool! I’d say for the majority of our questions on this site, when breads that aren’t turning out well–it’s because of inaccurate oven temperature, and that’s easily fixed. Great!

  3. hello, I have some tropical fruit jam (pineapple and such), What are your thoughts on using this in place of the orange confit?

    love all your recipes, we have pizza every week with the olive oil dough. It’s so flexible to also be able to make a foccacia loaf for a soup night.

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