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Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid Bread Recipe

 If you like sweet bread, especially sweet chocolate bread, this Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid is for you! It is soft and tender and filled with pastry cream.

A braided chocolate bread on a bread wooden cutting board over a blue striped towel

I was given some beautiful books over Christmas on baking bread, and I just couldn’t wait to dive into them. Months later they were still waiting patiently on my coffee table. That is until I laid eyes of the Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid.

Close up of slices of sweet Russian Chocolate Braid bread on a wooden cutting board.

This month’s Bread Bakers is hosted by Shireen at Ruchik Randhap (Delicious Cooking). The theme is Cacao, cocoa or carob in any form. Well, I love chocolate as much as I do bread so this was one month I didn’t want to miss.

A braided chocolate bread on a bread wooden cutting board over a blue striped towel

I always choose something that I haven’t made before. When I read the recipe and technique of the Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid in “The Best of Fine Cooking, Breads addition”, I wanted to give it a try.

It looked gorgeous and made my chocolate-loving heart beat a little faster. The dough was difficult to work with. It was very wet and sticky.

The recipe said this was normal. So while delicious, mine doesn’t exactly resemble the braid in the book, I’m o.k. with that though because I think it still turned out gorgeous!

Close up of slices of sweet Russian Chocolate Braid bread on a wooden cutting board.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

A braided chocolate bread on a bread wooden cutting board over a blue striped towel

Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid – #Breadbakers

Author: Hostess At Heart
If you like sweet bread, especially sweet bread with chocolate, this Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid is for you.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American, European, Russian
Keyword: Homemade bread, Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid Bread
Servings: 12 servings


Sweet Dough

  • 7.6 oz unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbs. plus more for rolling
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 small potato peeled, cooked and put through a ricer or sieve (yield 1/4 cup)
  • 2 egg yolks large
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 inch piece vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour unbleached is o.k.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks large


  • 1 egg beaten to brush dough prior to baking


Pastry Cream

  • In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat. Using a sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean vertically. Scrape out the seeds and add the pod and seeds to the milk. Cook until a skin forms. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and salt, then whisk in the egg yolks.
  • Remove the pod from the milk mixture. In a thin stream, slowly whisk in the warm milk. Return this mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is extremely thick and gluey, about 5 minutes.
  • Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the cream to keep a skin from forming. Let cool and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Sweet Dough

  • In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of flour with the yeast and then whisk in the water. Set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes or until it begins to get puffy.
  • Fit a large capacity food processor with the metal blade. Put in the remaining flour, yeast mixture, potato, egg yolks, vanilla and sour cream.
  • Process the ingredients for about 1 minute. Remove the dough from the working bowl and knead it by hand on a clean countertop for 1 minute. Return it to the food processor, running it for another minute and then kneading it on the counter for 30 seconds. Repeat this step until the dough is very smooth about 2 to 3 times.
  • Return the dough to the processor. Add the sugar and salt, kneading again in the processor and then on the counter until the sugar is dissolved. The dough will soften considerably and become very sticky.
  • Return the dough to the processor and add the butter process until well incorporated and then kneading it for another minute on the counter. The dough will cling to the sides of the processor and feel warm to touch at this point. Kneading on the counter should cool it and help firm it up.
  • Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover and allow the dough to rise until approximately 3 to 4 times its volume, approximately 3 hours.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or butter it. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle measuring 13×16 inches and about 1/8 inch thick.
    Stir the chilled pastry cream and then spread it over the dough in a thin layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the dough. Roll long edge into a cylinder and pinch to seal.
  • Put the cylinder on the baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut the cylinder down the middle lengthwise. Arrange the strips so the filling is facing up and they are lined up side by side. Working from the center, wrap them around each other to form a twist.
    Cover the dough and let rise until it's large and puffy, and remains indented when lightly pressed with your fingertip, about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Brush the dough with a beaten egg. Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown, approximately 35 minutes, turning the pan halfway through baking.
  • Cool on a rack for 1 hour before slicing.


Recipe originated in Fine Cooking Breads Winter 2015 edition.


Calories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 164mgPotassium: 195mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 245IUVitamin C: 2.1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2.4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Here are a couple more of my favorite Bread Bakers posts!

For more delicious bread, check out the recipes for other Bread Baker participants.

Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

#BreadBakers is a group of bread-loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

A braided chocolate bread on a bread wooden cutting board over a blue striped towel
Recipe Rating

Chocolate & Cherry Swirl Bread Recipe - The Bread She Bakes

Saturday 24th of June 2017

[…] Sweet Russian Chocolate Braid from Hostess At Heart […]


Saturday 22nd of October 2016

I really like your recipe "RUSSIAN CHOCOLATE BRAID" here. Healpful information for me. PS: Your pictures are looks so nice.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 23rd of October 2016

Thank you so much! I appreciate you stopping by and your kind comments.

jane @ littlesugarsnaps

Thursday 19th of May 2016

Oh Julie, i too have yet to actually make something from a cookbook I was desperate to get at Christmas. I keep drooling over the picutres and identifying which ones I want to try first but somehow life creeps up on my best laid plans and another week passes by. This Russian bread sounds very intriguing - potato? In sweet chocolate bread? Just the kind of recipe that is sure to deliver a positive surprise. Your loaf looks super - I've yet to attempt a successful bread braid :)

Julie Menghini

Thursday 19th of May 2016

Thank you Jane! This bread was a little finicky to work with. The second time around will be much easier. It was a very wet dough so instead of adding more flour, I just handled it the best that I could. It was so pretty and delicious in the end though.


Monday 28th of March 2016

love the shape and the porous texture - what an absolutely GORGEOUS loaf

Julie Menghini

Monday 28th of March 2016

Thank you so much Mireille! As much as I tried failing this bread, it was resilient enough to actually turn out! Have a wonderful day!

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Saturday 26th of March 2016

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