Sweet Chocolate Bread
This chocolate bread surprised many people in my family and friends. First look and my husband said, is this chocolate sponge cake? He is one super cakeoholic I ever met (Is cakeoholic an actual word or I just invented it? but you get it, right?). My friend thought it is chocolate panettone and it does look like one. I am certain if you make this bread for Thanksgiving dinner, highly likely your friends will be surprised too.
Enough of guesses, (I know, I know you read the name), it is semi-sweet, chocolate yeast bread. Moist like a cake but has no eggs, no leavening agents only chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. All rising is courtesy of my dear buddy yeast.
Don’t be intimated by the process of making yeast dough. All it needs is careful measurement of ingredients and right temperature. Once you have good idea about that you will start seeing your oven doing wonders for you. If you live in cold parts of world, try running your dryer for 3 minutes and then rise yeast dough in it or pre-heat over at 200 F for 5-8 minutes. Switch off and place your dough for rising in it. Both are perfect dark and warm place suitable for yeast action.
Dark chocolate gives this bread dark and delicious chocolaty bite and I used little instant coffee powder to make chocolate taste even better. You can serve thin slices of this bread for cheese course with some apricot jam or chunky cranberry sauce (adding recipe soon). In-fact, chocolate and wine is another match made in heaven. Serve this bread for Wine Course - some mascarpone cheese, cranberry sauce, and a glass of red wine. I also loved it for breakfast, slightly toasted with some butter and some honey drizzled on top. Tempting! Since there is no baking soda or eggs in the bread, this lite semi-sweet bread does not fill you up even if you eat it full stomach (you know those heavy holiday dinners).
I often make few types of bread in advance before thanksgiving and freeze’em for the big day. This bread is true contender for that because it freezes beautifully. Once out of the oven, let bread come to room temperature, wrap it tight and then freeze.
Sweet Chocolate Bread
- 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder (I used Hershey's Dark Cocoa Powder)
- 2 Cup All-Purpose Flour (plus 3 tbsp)
- 2 and 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast (0.4 oz 1 packet of Red Star Active Dry Yeast)
- 100 Grams Chocolate (good quality dark chocolate roughly chopped )
- 1 Cup Water (lukewarm water)
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter (at room temprature)
- 2 tsp Coffee (Instant Coffee Powder)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp Salt (Table Salt)
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (light brown sugar - need extra for dusting over the bread)
- 1. For the Dough - Spread yeast and 1 tsp sugar (from 1/3 cup sugar) in ½ cup lukewarm water and let it foam up for 10 minutes stir once in between. In a mixer with whisk hook attached or in a bowl using a hand whisk, mix well yeast mixture, room temperature butter, cocoa powder, salt, remaining 1/2 cup lukewarm water, and sugar. Add 2 cups flour. Knead or use mixer with dough hook attached till dough pulls away from the sides. Now add 1 tbsp flour at a time (i used 3 tbsp) till dough make a smooth ball. At this point knead dough for about 5 more minutes. Brush a large bowl with melted butter. Roll the dough in the bowl to cover with butter, cover with kitchen towel and let rise in warm place for about 1 and 1/2 hour or till it doubles in size.
- 2. Brush 8 inch round pan with butter and set aside. Cut dark chocolate into bite size pieces.
3. Once the dough has risen, punch it down, add in the chocolate and knead the dough gently to incorporate chocolate chicks evenly in the dough. I kneaded the dough with hands to mix in the chocolate. If you use mixer, then chill chocolate before kneading so that it does not melt while kneading. Make a round ball of kneaded dough and transfer it to prepared round pan. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 45 more minutes.4. Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Brush the loaf with water, sprinkle sugar evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes. The reduce heat to 375 F (190 C) and bake again for 22 to 25 more minutes. Remove the loaf from pan and turn it over and tap the bottom, it should sound hollow. Transfer the bread to wire rack and let to cool completely before slicing or freezing.
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