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Monday, June 14, 2010

Chocolate Bread

Well, hmm.  I have to admit that this looked a lot like a brownie whenever it was mixed together and when it came out of the oven.  And, I guess it kind of tasted like a brownie.  But, I'm calling it bread, because David Lebovitz did.  I used yeast and bread flour.  Bread uses those ingredients.  Plus, it cut like a bread and didn't have the enormous amount of granulated sugar that brownies normally do.  So, yep.  It's bread.  It's bread even though it has 6+ ounces of dark chocolate.  And a 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts.

And bread can be eaten for breakfast.  With a smidgen of cherry preserve or melted butter.  And a side of fresh fruit to go with your morning coffee.

And bread can even be eaten for lunch.  It can be smeared with a dollop of no-oil almond butter and topped with fresh raspberries, then grilled into a panini.  Bread, raspberries and almond butter made with no oil?  Yes.  This sounds like a healthy lunch!

And bread can even be eaten as a midnight snack with a healthy banana for that potassium boost needed to fall asleep.

Yep.  This is definitely bread.  And now I am inspired to make some type of brownie with fresh cherry mixed inside.
Chocolate Bread
David Lebovitz
Yield:  1 delicious Loaf
Time:  About 3.5 - 4 hours
  • 3/4 cup milk, heated just until tepid
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate (either chips or coarsely chopped chocolate; I used ghiradelli dark cacoa chips)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk.  Add 1 tbsp of sugar, then set aside in a warm place for 10-15 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.
  2. While the yeast is activating, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and 3 ounces of chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water.  Stir occasionally, until the chocolate and melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, mix in the remaining 5 tbsp of sugar, instant coffee (if using), the egg, vanilla, and sea salt.
  4. Stir in half of 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 5 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 30 seconds, then transfer it to a 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 350 degrees F.
  9. Bake the bread for 35-40 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 180 degrees F.

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