Chocolate Bread

Edith shared this recipe with me, and be both decided to try it. She used the bread flour that the recipe calls for and I used all-purpose flour. The results were not that different.  She had a more compact solid bread, and mine was a bit crumbly and seemed to be a bit spongier.  The consistency of this bread is not as we expected it to be, like bread.  It doesn’t have the consistency of cake either, but it was delicious. You can add walnuts, or almonds to it if you want. The first picture is my rendition of the bread, made with all-purpose flour and the second one is Edith’s version with bread flour.

Helga

Chocolate Bread
Recipe from David Lebovitz
One 9-inch (23 cm) loaf

Ingredients:
¾ cup whole or low-fat milk, heated until just tepid
1 envelope active dry yeast (¼ ounce, or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
3 ounces (85 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder (optional)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups bread flour
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ cup chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
½ cup toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preparation:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add one tablespoon sugar, then set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.
  2. While the yeast is activating, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and 3 ounces chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, mix in the remaining sugar, the instant coffee (if using), the egg, vanilla, and sea salt.
  4. Stir in half the flour and cocoa powder, then the melted butter and chocolate, then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until well-incorporated. If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and beat for five minutes, until smooth. If making by hand, mix vigorously with a flexible spatula for the same amount of time. The dough will seem quite moist, resembling sticky brownie batter when ready.
  5. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
  6. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.
  7. Stir in the chopped chocolate and nuts, if using. Then use a spatula to fold the dough over on itself in the bowl for about thirty seconds, then transfer it to the buttered pan, pressing a bit to spread it to the corners. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.
  8. Ten minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC.)
  9. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it feels done and sounds hollow when you tap it. You can stick an instant-read thermometer in the bottom if you’re unsure; the bread is done when the temperature reads 180ºF (82Cº).

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One Response to "Chocolate Bread"

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  1. Edith

    July 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    It’s tempting to think of this bread as a cake, but it’s not. Instead, I treated it as I would any kind of bread and decided to eat it with butter and jelly, but not any kind of butter and jelly. I made an almond and honey butter, which I proceeded to spread on a toasted slice of the chocolate bread and topped it with a spoonful of raspberry preserve. I just LOVE the combination of the dark chocolate and the fragrant raspberry!

    Also, I think this bread would make a killer French toast. With strawberries. And whipped cream… :)

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