Monday, November 12, 2007

Chocolate Bread

Finally, a real recipe! This is one I highly recommend. It tastes a lot better than the photos look, really, I promise.

I've been having the biggest craving for chocolate bread for quite a while. And not just any chocolate bread. Specifically, a yeasted, not-too-sweet chocolate bread with a tender, fine crumb and a very dark-chocolate taste. I'm not really sure why, because I don't think I'd ever had a bread like this before. But, you know, cravings are your body's way of telling you what it needs (ha!), and they are not to be ignored. Especially not when they are for delicious things like chocolate. So chocolate bread it would be.

Of course I couldn't find a recipe for the bread I wanted. I did find one that looked somewhat close, a recipe for Balthazar's chocolate bread. So my recipe is a very loose interpretation of their recipe.

And it was really, really good.

This is a slow rise bread, which gives it a really great, almost brioche-like texture. But please don't let that scare you! It really isn't any more difficult than an ordinary bread. I promise.

Oh, and if the mention of "chocolate" wasn't enough to convince you...this tasted really, really chocolatey, and as far as chocolate goes, it was actually pretty innocent calorie-wise. And you can let it rise in the fridge over night, and just pop in in the oven when you wake up in the morning. Thirty minutes later you'll be enjoying a piece of warm, tender chocolate bread, studded with little pockets of melted chocolate. Yum.

Ok, enough with this restaurant-menu description stuff. Get cooking!

(Oh, and it really is important to use good quality chocolate, and for the chocolate to be chopped, not in chip form! )

Chocolate Bread

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/8th tsp yeast

Mix all ingredients and let them sit at room temperature for 6 hours. The mixture should be bubbly and have expanded somewhat.

the starter
approx. 2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
6 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
scant 1 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp margerine, cut into small pieces
4 oz. 70% chocolate, chopped
optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries or diced dried apricots
turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the bread

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Put the starter and all dry ingredients through salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast water and begin to knead, either in the bowl if it's large enough or on a board lightly dusted with flour. Sprinkle on the margarine pieces, and knead them in. Knead for 10 minutes. Just before the dough is done, sprinkle on the chocolate chunks (and dried fruit, if using) and knead them into the dough.

Cover the dough with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise for until doubled in size, about 3 hours.

Now shape the bread. Line a baking sheet with parchement. Gently punch down the dough and cut it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, round roll. Place the rolls into the pan. It's fine if they are touching a bit.

You could also bake this as a boule, or you could bake it in two small, greased loaf pans.

At this point you can either let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature, or you can cover it and let it rise in the fridge over night. Just let it sit out at room temperature while the oven preheats the next morning if you do that.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the dough with soy milk and and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the bread has a slightly hollow sound when you tap tops with your finger, 40-45 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan, and put it on a wire rack; let cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic and store up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month


Mihl said...

This sounds really interesting! I never heard about chocolate bread before.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding?! The photo looks incredible - like scoops of chocolate brownie. Great post :)

Editor, The Jew & The Carrot

Unknown said...

I'm intrigued! Chocolate bread sounds great, is it very sweet with the 1/2 cup of sugar?


Ashasarala said...

This looks delicious... but I've never heard of chocolate bread before. Does it taste anything like a soft cookie?

anna/village vegan said...

Kittee-- no, the bread isn't very sweet at all. It tastes a lot like dark chocolate. If you're not a fan of dark chocolate you'd probably want to increase the sugar in the bread. There is 1/2 a cup of unsweetened cocoa in there. Actually, the 1/2 cup of sugar was a typo. Oops! I actually put in 6 tbsp, which I've now corrected.

ashasarala-- well, I guess it has the same chocolate taste as a cookie, but it's not as sweet, and the texture is definately breadlike. Because of the three slow rises it has a very fine crumb, almost like a brioche. It's not like a crunchy artisan bread or anything.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

what an intriguing recipe!! I'm not a fan of chocolate, but I could easily make this with carob :0)

Anonymous said...

what kind of flour would you use for this?

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

What on earth are you talking about?! Before I even read the commentary, the first thing I thought was, "Wow, that photo looks great!"

bazu said...

I agree- you do NOT have to convince me. I'd never heard of, let alone craved, chocolate bread before but now... well,let's just say my regular sourdough schedule will have to be interrupted for this. Soon. Like, now.

vko said...

the picture made me laugh but once I heard chocolate bread, my smirky laugh turned into drool...yum bread made with chocolate...

Coppe said...

That sounds really nice. I love making bread and this sounds like just the thing to mess around with.

aTxVegn said...

That looks amazing! I haven't had chocolate bread in sooo long and I'm crazy for anything dark chocolate.

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

cristy said...

Am now craving chocolate bread. Yum!

Thank you for the recipe.

sulu-design said...

I'm doing a little blog catch up today now that I have time off (yay Thanksgiving!) and I'm thrilled with so many recipes you posted. My brother is going to go crazy over this one - he's been eating chocolate bread at every cafe he can find it in here in Portland while he's visiting. Thanks!

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

I am obsessed with dark chocolate and I don't care what you say, those pictures are incredibly appetizing! I would love to make it with whole wheat flour to make them healthy as well! I'm not sure how to make them whole wheat and still have them rise, any suggestions?

I can't wait to make these and slather them with peanut butter! Thanks.

- The Peanut Butter Boy

Anonymous said...

wow i once heard panera bread store/cafes were advertising "chocolate bread" but recently when i got there and asked about it, they said "they don't make chocolate bread anymore" thank you for this marvelous recipe!

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)

Anonymous said...


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