Since I have been on a bread baking binge for the last few months, when I saw this post I knew that I wanted to take part in it. While I have never participated in this before, Lisa, of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives, is the host of this month’s Bread Baking Day #47. I am a fan of Lisa and her site, so please go on over and read her witty stories ( I, on the other hand, am a very clumsy writer, so only read me for the recipes! ). The challenge? Yeast bread with chocolate. Not too hard to think of sweet recipes for this (povitica anyone?), but I really wanted to try this non-sweet sandwich bread, and this was the perfect excuse. It comes from my new favorite book of the moment, Bake!, by Nick Malgieri. If you have never read any of his baking books, I can’t urge you strongly enough to head over to your local library and pick one up. Currently, he directs the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School) and frequently serves as a guest teacher at many cooking schools. Since 1985, he has appeared at culinary events throughout North America, and at the Smithsonian Institution.
What I love about him is his easy-going baking style. I’m not saying that all of his recipes are simple, but he makes them approachable. In fact, I think in this book he really makes everything almost easy. If I could change one thing, it would be that he include weight measurements in his recipes. Recipes come out more consistent when weighed, but I also believe that bread baking is also about feeling, and changes in weather effect the moisture content. So, really, I guess I could go either way…I have been enjoying his section in the book on bread and have now made his perfect white pan bread recipe multiple times and really love it. I received a pullman loaf pan for Christmas and I have been all over it ever since. It makes perfectly square sandwich bread. Wait, I’m digressing here, because I did not use this pan for this particular chocolate swirl bread. Well, I did, but I didn’t put the top on it, so I don’t think that counts. Anyway, back to this bread. What a cool looking loaf this is. For a second you might think it’s a marble rye, but it’s not. It is a moist, slightly sweet and faintly chocolatey slice of deliciousness. My daughter has been enjoying this with peanut butter and jelly, I with cream cheese or a smear of sweet butter. My husband? with sliced turkey.
Chocolate Spiral Bread
This makes two 9x5x5 loaves
6 1/2 Cups (28.66 oz/812.5 g) bread flour (I always use all-purpose flour with 1 Tbls vital wheat gluten)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
4 Tablespoons (2 oz/56.7 g) Unsalted butter, but into pieces
1 1/2 Cups (12 oz/96 g) milk, scalded
1 Cup (8 oz/64g) warm water (about 110F)
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Stir the butter into the hot milk and let it cool to room temperature.
Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Once the milk is cooled down, whisk the yeast into the warm water in the bowl of your standing mixer. Wait one minute then whisk again. Whisk in the milk and butter mixture.
Stir in half of the flour mixture, then stir in the balance in 2 additions until you have a rough, shaggy mixture. Place the bowl onto your mixer and using your dough hook, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 10 mixer. turn your mixer back on to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.
1 batch perfect white bread (above)
1/4 cup (2 oz)milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used bittersweet), melted and slightly cooled
1/4 Cup bread flour (again, I used AP flour)
1 Tablespoon melted butter, for brushing on the tops when they are out of the oven
Turn the dough out and divide it into two pieces, one being twice as large as the others. I used my scale for this which made it very easy but don’t worry if you eye it; you basically want to end up with 2/3 and 1/3. Place the larger piece into a lightly oiled bowl (I just spray mine with PAM),turn the dough over, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour)
Return the smaller piece to the mixer.
Whisk together the chocolate, milk and cinnamon. Add it to the mixing bowl with the smaller piece of dough and the 1/4 cup flour and blend together on low-speed until the dough evenly absorbs the chocolate mixture. Turn off the machine and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then mix again on low speed for another 2 minutes. Place the dough into an oiled lined bowl, turn it over, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled (about 1 hour).
Roll the piece of white dough into a 16 inch square. Roll the chocolate dough into a 8×16 inch rectangle. Brush a little water over the white dough and place the chocolate dough on top of the dough, leaving a 1 inch space of white dough closest to you. Fold over the 1 inch onto the chocolate dough and continue to roll the dough up, jelly roll style. You will now have one long piece of dough. Cut the dough in half, kind of pinch the open end together a little, then press each one into your loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 400 F
When the loaves are fully risen, bake in your hot oven, about 45 minutes. they should be a deep, golden color with an internal temperature of 200F. I have a little $5 stick thermometer that works perfect for this. If you don’t own one, just make sure that the bread has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
Unmold the bread from the pans (this is when you would tap them if you don’t have a thermometer), brush the tops with the melted butter and let cool completely. Enjoy.
This was so good that I am going to submit it to yeastspotting this week!