Chocolate chip vienna baguette (also called “pains viennois”, or “viennoises aux pépites de chocolat” in French) is a soft and sweet bread in the shape of a baguette, prepared with an enriched dough and lots of chocolate chips. With only 4 minutes kneading, this breakfast recipe is accessible to all levels – beginners included.
Let’s start the day with a French breakfast today! You probably know the classic croissants or pains au chocolat (chocolate croissants) that we serve in every bakery in France, but have you ever heard of vienna baguettes? A much easier recipe that every beginner can make!
My mom used to purchase a very long so-called baguette viennoise with or without chocolate chips when I was a kid, and we would eat it after school with my sisters. Still to this day I have vivid memories of this super soft and pillowy bread, loaded with so many chocolate chips. SO good… and slightly addictive too!
What is chocolate chip vienna baguette?
Chocolate chip vienna baguette is a kind of bread made with an enriched dough, which means it contains butter, milk and egg. Halfway between a pain au lait (litterally “milk bread”) and a brioche dough, vienna bread is usually shaped like a baguette. In France, we enjoy it for breakfast or as an afternoon-snack, either in a plain version or loaded with chocolate chips (my favorite)!
What goes into vienna bread?
- Fresh yeast. Check below for active dry yeast or instant yeast conversion if needed.
- Milk + whipping cream. The combination of milk and cream creates a richer dough.
- Sugar. You need granulated sugar to proof the yeast and also to create the sweet enriched dough.
- Butter. Choose unsalted butter and use it melted and slightly cooled.
- Eggs. You need 1 large egg for the dough, and 1 yolk to brush the baguettes once proofed (if 1 yolk is not enough, add another one).
- All-purpose flour. Read my note below the recipe regarding the exact flour quantity you need, depending on where you live.
- Chocolate chips. Make yourself a favor and go for mini chocolate chips so they’re evenly distributed throughout the breads. If using large chocolate chips, you’ll have less of them.
- 25g fresh yeast = 10g with active dry yeast = 9g instant yeast.
While both the fresh yeast and the active dry yeast need to be proofed in a liquid (lukewarm milk and cream here) before using, instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients. But there’s no harm in proofing it too, just to be safe.
How to make chocolate chip vienna baguettes?
Start with making the dough. You can do it manually by hand or using a stand mixer (I recommend the stand mixer). Always start with dissolving the yeast with a little bit of sugar and the lukewarm milk-cream mixture, and let sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Combine all the ingredients, adjusting the flour quantity as needed, and knead for 4 full minutes.
Then, proof the dough for 1 hour. Cover the bowl with the dough and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Make sure you place the dough in a warm place to help this process.
Add the mini chocolate chips! Don’t forget this step! Once done, knead the dough a little bit to ensure that all the chocolate chips are evenly distributed in the dough.
Now, shape the baguettes. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts (you can weight the dough and then divide into 8 to ensure the exact weight of each of them, or do it roughly). Flatten each piece of dough with your hand, then fold the longer edge toward the middle, pressing down with the palm of your hand to seal. Repeat on the other side, and place seam down while slightly rolling.
Let the baguettes rise a second time for 30 minutes, covered with a cloth.
Last touches and baking. When vienna baguettes have risen, brush with the yolk and and score with kitchen shears or a small paring knife, making a few diagonal cuts on top. Bake in the center of a preheated oven (important!), until golden brown.
Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe (in a printable recipe card) including ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
How does vienna bread compare to other French viennoiseries?
While croissants and pains au chocolats are prepared with a laminated dough, vienna baguettes are a much easier version. Prepared with an enriched dough, they require very minimal kneading (only 4 minutes!), shaping and proofing. That’s way shorter than most breads and brioches. Yet, you get a perfectly soft and airy texture every single time. If you’re a beginner at French baking, this almost foolproof recipe is for you!
- Use a stand mixer rather than kneading by hand. Both options are possible, but you’ll make your work easier using a stand mixer and ensure that your dough is smooth and airy.
- Don’t rush the process. Even though this recipe is very quick to make for a yeast dough, I recommend not to rush the steps for best results. Allow the yeast to proof before using, knead for 4 full minutes, respect the 2 rising times, and carefully read the instructions to shape the baguettes.
- Adjust the flour quantity as needed. Depending on where you live and which brand you use for the flour, you may need to adjust the quantity a little bit. Typically, you will need less flour in North America and the maximum in Europe (read note below the recipe for quantities). The dough must be smooth, soft and elastic, not too hard to the touch.
- Proofing tip. Let the dough rise in a warm place. Make sure your room temperature is not too chilly, as a warm environment helps with the rising process. Also, don’t forget: there are 2 proofing steps in the recipe!
- Use the poke test. After proofing the dough, gently press your finger about ½ in. (1 cm) into the dough. If the dough is ready, it will spring back. If the proofing time is too short, the dough won’t build up enough CO2 to rise correctly during baking. Conversely, if the proofing time is too long, the gluten network weakens and the bread may fall during baking.
- Go for mini chocolate chips! You can use regular size chocolate chips, but I find that mini chocolate chips are what makes these vienna baguettes extra delicious and addictive, when spread throughout the bread.
How to store chocolate chip vienna baguettes
Viennoises au chocolat are usually best eaten freshly baked and tend to get stale the next day. My little trick to keep them longer is to place them in a ziploc bag and keep at room temperature. They will loose their crispy outer crust but keep their softness inside. Another idea consists in making French toast out of them. Delicious! However, I do not recommend freezing chocolate vienna baguettes.
More French viennoiseries, bakery-style:
- Easy Chocolate Brioche Buns
- Chocolate Chip Vanilla Custard Brioches (Brioches Suisses)
- French Brioche à Tête
- Easy French Pains aux Raisins
- Almond Croissants (The Easy Way)
Chocolate Chip Vienna Baguettes
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Rising Time: 1h30
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 1h50
- Yield: 8 baguettes 1x
- Category: Breads and brioches
Chocolate chip vienna baguette is a soft and sweet bread. With only 4 minutes kneading, this breakfast recipe is accessible to all levels – beginners included.
- ⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon (10 cl) whole milk
- ⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon (10 cl) whipping cream
- 0.9 oz (25g) fresh yeast*
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon (to activate the yeast)
- ⅔ stick (75g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 ½ cups (475g) all-purpose flour**
- ¾ cup (100g) chocolate chips, ideally mini chocolate chips
- 1 yolk, to brush
- In a small saucepan, warm up the milk with the whipping cream up to 100°F (38°C). Be careful not to overheat the milk-cream mixture or it could kill the yeast.
- Crumble the fresh yeast* into a bowl, add one teaspoon of sugar, and whisk in the milk-cream mixture. Set aside to bloom until foamy and bubbling, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the melted butter with 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Add in the beaten egg, the milk-cream mixture with yeast, and mix well. Switch to the hook attachment, and pour the flour in two or three additions**, mixing well after each addition. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and elastic, about 4 minutes, then shape into a ball. Place it back into the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Add the (mini) chocolate chips into to the dough and knead for a few more minutes until evenly distributed. Using a dough cutter, divide the dough into 4 to 8 equal pieces. To form, flatten each piece of dough with your hand to remove any excess gas or bigger bubbles. Once flattened, fold from the top, along the longer edge in toward the middle, and gently, but firmly press down on the dough with the bottom of the palm of your hand all the way closing the seam. Turn, and do the same on the other side. Place seam side down and start to gently roll it from the center out to elongate the dough slightly.
- Place the vienna baguettes on a baking tray covered with parchment paper, cover them with a cloth, and let rise for 30 more minutes in a warm place.
- When vienna baguettes have risen, brush with the yolk and and score with kitchen shears, making several parallel diagonal cuts across the top of the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 480°F (250°C). Place in the middle rack and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until golden-brown. Let cool slightly (so you can handle them) or completely, and enjoy!
* You can replace fresh yeast 10g with active dry yeast or 9g instant yeast. The first one needs to be proofed in a liquid while the second one can be added directly to the dry ingredients. Yet I recommend proofing anyway, just to be on the safe side.
** Depending on the flour you use (in particular if you leave in Europe or in the US/Canada) you may need to adjust the quantity of flour. You will typically need more flour in Europe, while 2 ¾ cups to 3 cups (430-460g) flour should be enough in North America.
Recipe by Del’s cooking twist | Photography by Athina Canevet Studio
Keywords: Chocolate Vienna Baguettes
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