I’ve been trying to get better about commenting on the recipes I find on other blogs to tell those wonderful people how amazing their recipes are. This is a hit or miss kind of thing. Most of the time, it’s because I simply get so carried away with the baking and eating of baked good that I forget to go back and post a comment. This time, I actually remembered to go back to post a comment…but couldn’t find somewhere to post it even though there are 121 other comments on that post! Sigh. Anyways, this recipe is from David Lebovitz. I was in a chocolate type of mood and this wonderful creation sure fit the bill! But, let me warn you, it’s really, really chocolate-y. Like…that real chocolate flavor from dark chocolate, not the milk chocolate taste. It’s amazing. Goes amazingly well with coffee in the morning…for a snack halfway through the day…for another snack when you get home and great with milk right before bed! 😉
David has a lot of little tips on the original recipe (he actually has a lot of great recipes I want to try, you should go check his site out!). For example, use a Dutch-processed cocoa and that you can leave the coffee powder out if you don’t have it or prefer not to use it – it does add color and boost the chocolate taste. He also talks about dry yeast and fresh yeast and how much to use of each. And, he has links for making your own bread flour (although, regular flour will work for the recipe).
ALSO, please note that rising time for this bread is around 3 hours total. I didn’t read his post all the way through before I started, even though I really should do that more often. So, that’s my disclaimer. It’s definitely worth all the waiting!
One 9-inch (23 cm) loaf
What you need:
3/4 cup (180 ml) whole or low-fat milk, heated until just tepid
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce, or 2 1/4 teaspoons)—see David’s note that I pasted below.
6 tablespoons (75 g) sugar
4 tablespoons (55 g) butter, salted or unsalted
3 ounces (85 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups (280 g) bread flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces, 90 g) chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup (70 g) toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
What to do:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add one tablespoon (11 g) sugar, then set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.
- While the yeast is activating, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and 3 ounces (85 g) chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Once the yeast mixture is frothy, mix in the remaining sugar, the instant coffee (if using), the egg, vanilla, and sea salt.
- 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.
- Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan.
- 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.
- Ten minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC.)
- 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).
David’s note: The equivalent amount of fresh yeast to one packet of dry yeast is .6 ounces. He hasn’t used instant or quick-rising yeast (also called rapid-rise), but if you do try it, please let him know how it works out. According to various websites from yeast supplers (see below), you can use it in place of regular yeast.