•  ¼ cup milk
  • 2 envelopes ¼ oz. Active dry yeast
  • 2 egg yolks, plus 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Tahiti vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cool;ed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Filling (you can increase even more to change the proportions of dough to filling)

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Valrhona equitoriel; use whatever you like)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (Ceylon is best)
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Warm milk in microwave until warm to the touch (20 seconds).  Transfer to a large bowl and add yeast.  Let sit until foamy, 10 minutes.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Mix until a dough forms (or use mixer dough hook to do the same).  Knead lightly on a floured surface until supple and smooth and dull in look.  It’s fun to do anyway so take your time.  Transfer to a large buttered bowl, cover with a towel and put in a cold oven until doubled in size, 2 ½ hours.

Mix chocolate, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cut dough into 3 pieces and turn out dough into three 12x6 rectangles on a lightly floured surface.  Brush with butter and spread with filling mixture.  Roll up to form a log.  Braid the three logs into a challah shape.  Brush dough with egg-wash (1 egg yolk, 2 tbsp. water), sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake on a baking sheet 35-45 minutes or until sounds hollow to the touch.

Cool on a wire rack.

This is also incredibly tasty for a French Toast preparation once baked.