I was craving chocolate bread. And stumbled upon David Lebotivz's recipe for chocolate bread, which seemed to have quite a lot of rave reviews. Fate, so be it then.
David Lebovitz's Chocolate Bread
The dough was really easy to work with, and rose beautifully. When baked, I was a bit concerned with how dark the top was, so I covered with foil mid-way when it seemed to brown a little too fast for my liking.
The texture of the bread tasted more like a cake, think - dense pound cake, rather than a soft fluffy loaf of, you know, bread. It was really chocolatey and good and all, but it wasn't what I was looking for. It was just a little on the dry side after I toasted it for breakfast (I love toasted bread), so, to add a little moistness, I spread Nutella atop it. Oh. Who am I kidding. I ate Nutella just for the sake of it being Nutella. Nutella needs no justification, rights? Chocolate and milk is a dream combo, so make sure you have a tall glass of milk to go with this.
Meanwhile, I'm still on the search for a recipe for good loaf of fluffy soft chocolate bread...
David Lebovitz's Chocolate Bread (adapted from here)
3/4 cup (180 ml) whole or low-fat milk, heated until just tepid
2 tsp instant yeast
55g butter, salted or unsalted
85g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
280g bread flour
30g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder (optional)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (90g) chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
1/2 cup (70g) toasted nuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add one tablespoon sugar, (11g) 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 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.
Sift together bread flour and cocoa powder and set aside.
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. Using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and beat for five minutes, until smooth.
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 about 1.5 hours.
Ten minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 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 82Cº.