Chocolate-Pumpkin Brioche Twists

Made with an enriched dough, French brioche is used for sandwiches and treats like this one. The intense, slightly bitter undertones of dark chocolate and the fruity sweetness of pumpkin form a contrasting, yet pleasing flavor duo especially fitting in autumn. Perfect for any time of the day, this baked good offers a tasty addition to brunch or dinner.

Makes 6 twists


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup warm whole milk (120°F to 130°F)
  • 5 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tbsp salted butter
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. For dough, in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix ½ cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt on low just until combined. Gradually beat in warm milk; beat in butter and egg until combined. Beat in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Slowly beat in remaining 2½ cups flour, ½ cup at a time, until combined. Using dough hook attachment on stand mixer, knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a large, lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of the dough. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  4. For filling, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth.
  5. Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 3 (18×4-inch) rectangles. Spread chocolate filling over the dough rectangles to within ½ inch of the edges.
  7. Starting at a long edge, tightly roll up each rectangle to make an 18-inch-long rope. Cut each rope crosswise in half to make 6 (9-inch-long) ropes. Split each 9-inch rope lengthwise in half to expose layers of dough and chocolate filling. Loosely tie each split rope into a knot; tuck ends under bottom of twist. Place twists 3 inches apart in prepared baking pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let rise for 30 minutes or until puffed slightly.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

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