No-knead brioche dough filled with chocolate and pecans. Braided into a beautiful Easter Bread.
In a large bowl add flour, yeast, salt, and the zest. Stir together and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix eggs, water, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the melted butter until smooth.
Add egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a mass is formed and no dry flour remains. About 1 minute. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.
Holding the edge of the dough with your fingertips, fold the dough over its self by gently lifting the dough and folding the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 45 degrees and fold again for a total of 8 times. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat the folding and rising 3 more times. After the 4th set of folds cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 16 hours and up to 24 hours.
Line a 9 x 5-inch bread pan with parchment or generously butter the sides and bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide dough in half. Reserving 1/2 of the dough for another use. With the remaining 1/2 divide into thirds. Gently press or roll each third into a strip that is 12-inches long and 5-inches wide. Divide filling equally between each rectangle. Spread over the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border. Carefully roll up dough lengthwise and pinch the seam along the long side. Repeat on the remaining dough.
Place the three filled doughs next to each other seam side down and braid them together. Place in prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 50 minutes or until the dough is a bit more than 50 percent risen.
Preheat oven to 350℉ 30 minutes prior to baking. Whisk egg with one tablespoon of water and brush over the dough. Bake loaf for 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread is 190℉. If the bread begins to brown too much, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil about halfway through. If an instant-read thermometer isn't available, use a wooden screwer and insert it into the bread. The screwer should come out clean when the bread has completely baked.
Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Brush the top with softened butter then sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and carefully turn the loaf onto the rack to cool completely. If you have lined the pan with parchment, carefully lift the sides of the parchment and place bread on the cooling rack.
In a medium-size mixing bowl beat egg whites and salt until frothy and stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar and beat until thick and glossy. Mix in cocoa powder. Gently fold in chopped pecans, and chocolate.