Monday, December 22, 2008

Super soft Chocolate Bread

I must say I'm a bread person. If I were to be stranded on a deserted island and I'm only allowed to have one kind of food to survive, bread will be it. What can I say, it's my kind of comfort food. ;)
What's better then a home made bread? I'm sure you all out there knows that once you achieve making a loaf of soft bread yourself...there's no turning back to those store bought ones.(well unless it's something new you want to try out or no time, haha)

This chocolate bread has always been my favorite. I have made it several times (quite long since I last did it) and people that tasted it have only good reviews on it. It's really soft and chocolaty. Even on the following 2 days, it's still soft and yummy....if it still around that long! ;)

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart's website quite awhile back. However now I can no longer find it there. (Good thing I have a copy). Anyway, you hardcore bread fans out there, give it a bake! It's worth it!

Chocolate Bread Starter (makes 3/4 cup):
Chocolate Bread Starter (makes 3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup plus 3 tbsp all purpose flour

  • In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm water. Stir in flour until completely incorporated. Cover and leave to proof at room temperature for 4 to 6 hrs.
Ingredients for Chocolate Bread (makes one 8.5" by 2.5" loaf):
410g bread flour
35g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup Chocolate bread starter (from recipe above)
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 oz / 85g good quality bittersweet chocolate
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp of heavy cream

  • In one cup of warm water, add the active dry yeast and let stand till foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the Chocolate bread starter. Add the yeast mixture in and start mixing at low speed for 5 minutes, then turn machine off for 15 minutes to let dough rest.
  • Add salt, butter and mix on medium speed until the dough develops and sheen, about 10 minutes. Add chopped chocolate. Continue to mix until completely combined.
  • Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to proof for at least 90 minutes.
  • Punch down dough and remove from bowl to a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough into thirds (like folding a letter for an envelope) and cover to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Butter a loaf pan. Divide the pan into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece in a circular motion , forming a tight ball. Place the 4 doughs, smooth side up in the loaf pan, side by side.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap again and let proof for another 90 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Combine egg yolk and heavy cream and lightly brush it with the risen loaf surface.
  • Bake loaf in oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Let cool in pan for at least 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing.
It's good eaten on it's own or a thin spread of cold butter on it....mmmm.;)

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