Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Making 85C Chocolate Chip Bowls - At Home!

Today we are making something delicious in the kitchen. I'm really looking forward to it. 

When Aubrey would come out and visit us in California, one of her favorite places to stop for a treat was the 85C bakery. They had all sorts of delicious breads and pastries there, but her favorite of all of them is their Chocolate Chip Bowl. I've made their Garlic Cheese Bread and Choco Buns. I even made a very satisfying Cheese Bread that is filled with cream cheese.  

But the Chocolate Chip Bowl is a little different, but I'm excited to give it a try!

The breads at the Taiwanese Bakery, 85C, are soft, fluffy, and moist. That's because they are a form of bread called a milk bread, with a method called Tangzhong. There's no water in this dough. As the basis for my recipe, I'll be following along with
Update 09/2023: A reader let me know that this site and the recipe are no longer active. I was able to find the recipe though, and have listed it below. 


For the Tangzhong:
20g strong white flour
100g whole milk

For the dough:
300g strong white bread flour
30g sugar
6g salt
7g dry instant yeast (or 15g fresh yeast)
10g dry milk powder
110g whole milk
1 large egg
100g room temperature unsalted butter
150g dark chocolate chips (70%)

For before and after baking:
1 egg beaten
2 Tbsp powdered sugar

First make the Tangzhong. Add the 100g whole milk and 20g of flour to a sauce pan and heat over low. Cook until the mixture thickens to a paste-like consistency. Transfer the tangzhong to a small bowl to cool. Save the sauce pan. 
Next, to make the dough, add 110g whole milk to the sauce pan and allow to warm from the residual heat. In a separate mixing bowl, add 300g flour, 30g sugar, 6g salt, 10g dry milk powder, and instant yeast. Mix briefly to combine, then add the warmed milk, 1 large egg, and tangzhong from earlier. 
In a stand mixer, knead on low speed to bring the dough together, then knead on a high speed for a further 10 minutes. Divide the unsalted butter into chunks and add them slowly to the dough while it is kneading to incorporate.
Remove the dough from the mixer. Form into a ball and place in a bowl. Refrigerate the dough 2 hours or overnight. 
After chilling, flatten the dough on a work surface and add chocolate chips. Fold the dough on itself and roll into a ball until the chocolate chips are incorporated. Split dough into two and form round balls. Place on a baking sheet and cover, allowing the dough to double in size. 
Preheat an oven to 355F. Once the dough has doubled in size, brush with a beaten egg. Score the top of the dough in a cross pattern. Bake for 25 minutes. Once baking has finished, move to a cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar. 

The Tangzhong starts with 100 grams of milk and 20 grams of flour. I'm amazed at how little flour it takes to thicken this up into a paste. 

Combining the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. My biggest question was how many chocolate chip bowls I should be making. I ended up making a triple recipe, which I turned into 6 loaves. 

A stand mixer would have been really nice. This dough is awfully sticky. I did my best to knead everything until it became smooth. 

This dough uses a bit of butter too. For the triple recipe, it's just shy of 3 sticks of butters. 

A stand-mixer would have made short work of this. I mixed in the room temperature butter by hand until I had a nice smooth dough. After kneading everything together, I put it back into the fridge. There's a lot of fat in this dough that needs to cool down and firm up. 

After a few hours in the fridge, the dough was ready to receive its signature ingredient. Chocolate Chips!
I flattened the dough onto the counter top and filled it with dark chocolate chips. Honestly I probably went a little overboard on the chocolate chips. The recipe called for 12 ounces, but I probably used something like 24 ounces. 
I rolled everything up, like a swiss log, but instead of slicing it, I rolled it all together into a big ball. 

While the oven is heating up, I left my bread bowls on top of the stovetop to proof. 

These dough balls are a lot bigger than I was expecting them to be. I should have made 8 instead of 6. 

I gave them an egg wash, but neglected to score the dough before it went into the oven. I placed the bread bowls into a 355F oven for about 25 minutes. 

Once they came out, they get a dusting of powdered sugar. 

So my first attempt at these doesn't quite look like theirs. They went a little darker in the oven. I should have crossed the top of mine with a knife to allow them to expand more. 

And I have a few too many chocolate chips. They've formed entire layers of chocolate instead of being sprinkled throughout. I think a real mixer would have helped too, to really knead the dough and give it more strength. 

But I'm my biggest critic. What does everyone else think about them? 
Aubrey - Uncle Joe, these are even better than 85C!
Others said the same thing. I tasted them, and yes, these are very delicious. Soft and fluffy bread, hot out of the oven is always fantastic. Mix in some dark chocolate with it and you've got a wonderful treat. 

Theresa told me that I can't make these again, at least not when it's just us. Other people need to be around to eat them, so she doesn't. 
And 6 big loaves of bread all got eaten pretty quickly. People really did like them!


  1. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm...looks so that extra, chocolatey gooey texture in EVERY bite, then pair it with soft, warm, buttery bread...can't resist!!! Who said the original had to be better? That was a delicious baked treat (I'm w/ Theresa with that...don't make it unless others are around :-) ) EOM

  2. Hello, is there an alternative recipe for the Al brady one? The link you mentioned doesn’t seem to exist anymore… I love this bread and I would love to make it too!

    1. Thank you for letting me know! I've updated the article to include the ingredients and recipe directions directly. I hope you enjoy these delicious chocolate chip bowls!

  3. Made this, but scalded the milk to ensure better yeast action. It came out great!