I'm part of a baking group called Avid Baker's Challenge and this year we're baking through the great David Lebovitz's recipes.
He's an American chef living in Paris and has the most incredible recipes that always work (and not fancy schmancy).
This month's challenge is Chocolate Bread from his website and it is amazing! I added "yeast" to the title because I didn't want anyone mistaking it for a quick bread.
It takes some time to rise (2 ½ hours total), so you'll need to plan accordingly, but let me tell you - it's worth every minute of it.
I can't believe how wonderful this bread was when I ate the first piece, still a little warm from the oven.
The chocolate chunks are melty and soft and the texture is definitely a yeast bread (kind of a similar texture of a cinnamon roll). Then the chocolate from the bread comes through and everything combined is heavenly.
I ran to the refrigerator to get some milk while devouring the bread because it definitely needs that as a companion (or coffee or tea). As simple as it is, it's totally decadent and amazing. I'm running out of adjectives here.
I was pleased that all of the ingredients were in my pantry so I didn't have to make a special shopping trip. I'm writing up the recipe with the little changes I made (chocolate combinations, no nuts), but if you make this, go carefully by his excellent instructions.
Don't overbake it. Mine was done in 37 minutes.
One note, because you'll wonder, is that the dough is really gooey. As he describes it - "resembling sticky brownie batter.." Don't let that bother you. Just go by the mixing and rising times and it'll come out great. Oh, and I love the shiny top after it's baked!
I have a lot of great recipes on this site, but not many at 5 stars which means perfection to me. I give this Chocolate Yeast Bread 5 stars.
- ¾ C whole or low-fat milk, heated until just tepid
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (¼ oz)
- 6 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ oz instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 2 C flour (recommends bread flour - I used all-purpose)
- ¼ C unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ¾ C (3 ½ oz) chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- Put the milk into a small saucepan and warm until warm to the touch (about 110°). Remove from heat and pour into a mixing stand bowl.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and add 1 tablespoon of sugar, then set aside in a warmish place for 10-15 minutes, until bubbles form.
- While the yeast is activating, melt the butter and 3 ounces of chocolate in a double-boiler or small bowl over simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat.
- One the yeast mixture is ready, put in the rest of the sugar, the instant coffee or espresso, the egg, vanilla, and kosher or sea salt.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour and cocoa powder together. Add half of the flour mixture into the bowl, then add the chocolate/butter mixture. Finish with the rest of the flour mixture, stirring with a spoon until well mixed.
- If you're using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and beat on medium for 5 minutes until smooth. If making the dough by hand, mix vigorously with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula for five minutes. The dough will be like sticky brownie batter when it's ready.
- Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Butter a 9" loaf pan.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate and use the spoon or spatula to fold the dough over on itself in the bowl for about thirty seconds. Spoon the dough into the loaf pan, pressing down in the corners and smoothing the top. Let it rise in a warm place for one hour.
- Ten minutes before you're ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350°.
- Bake the bread from 35 to 40 minutes, checking at 35 minutes. The loaf should sound rather hollow when you tap it on top or you can use an instant-read thermometer (about 180°F) if you're unsure. (The thermometer may come out a little moist from the melted chocolate.)
- Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan on a rack for ½ hour. Remove from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely. To store, wrap loosely or freeze.
Tips and Stuff:
He says you can use whole or low-fat milk. I used whole.
I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate for the first part, then used ½ C of Nestles semisweet chocolate chips and ¼ C Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate for the part where you stir in the chocolate after the first rise. It was a perfect combination.
Do use the Dutch-process cocoa powder if you can find it. It makes a difference - Dutch-process is less acidic and darker.
The original recipe adds ½ nuts of your choice, but I chose not to use them.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 298mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 6g
Nutrition Values are Approximate