Bread and chocolate are two of my weaknesses. I discovered several years ago that the key to healthy weight for me, in addition to trying to stay somewhat physically active, is to reduce my sugar and carb consumption as much as possible. But I cannot fully give up bread. And I love a nice, dark, not overly sweet, chocolate.
So, when I was craving both the other day, I came across this idea. What could be better than chocolate bread?!?!?!
I have only started doing any baking at all over the last year. I always have flour, baking powder and baking soda on hand, but mostly just used it for thickening a sauce, making a roux, making cornbread, etc. When I started making this easy focaccia recipe (link), then I added instant or quick rise yeast to my pantry. I say this to tell you that most recipes I read for chocolate bread called for bread flour (I just have all-purpose) and active dry yeast (but not rapid rise). I also did not have “Dutch process” cocoa powder. Just store brand from Kroger. I don’t know if this would have turned out better if I’d used any of those more specific things, but my results didn’t seem to suffer for using the lesser options.
- 3/4 cup whole or low-fat milk, heated until just barely warm
- 1 envelope yeast (rapid rise, active dry, etc.)
- 6 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter (salter or unsalted)
- 3 ounces (about 6 tablespoons) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate – you can use chips or coarsely chop up a bar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of flour (all-purpose or bread)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chunks
Put the warm milk in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl), add 1 tablespoon of sugar, stir slightly to combine, then sprinkle the yeast over it. Set aside in a warm spot for 10 – 15 minutes or until bubbles form and the mixture get foamy.
While the yeast is activating, bring some water in a small saucepan to barely simmering. Set a metal bowl over the water and add your butter and 3 onces of chocolate to the bowl. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate melt and are smooth. Remove from heat.
Into your yeast mixture (once foamy) add the remaining sugar, egg, vanilla and salt. Mix to combine.
Stir in half of the flour and half of the cocoa powder, then the melted chocolate, then the rest of the flour and cocoa, combining as you go. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and beat for five minutes. If mixing by hand, stir for the same amount of time until smooth.
Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for two hours.
Butter a 9 inch loaf pan. Stir in the chopped chocolate or chips, fold for about 30 seconds. Then transfer the dough to the pan, pressing slightly to spread it to the corners. Let rise for one hour.
Preheat your oven to 350. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
On the first night, we ate this for dessert with some ice cream and chocolate sauce. But since, I’ve consumed most of the rest for breakfast. Like now, as I write this, it is divine with a cup of coffee.
What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolateKatharine Hepburn