Initially I was planning to bake something that is good for Easter, like chocolate babka or something in those lines, but when I saw this chocolate yeast bread recipe on David Lebovitz's site I dropped all the earlier ideas and made that instead. I have only tried baking chocolate yeast bread twice before, first time in this chocolate cherry bread and then in this sourdough chocolate bread, so I was intrigued on how this bread would turn out.
This bread is not soft and moist like chocolate cake or even any quick bread. It is a little dense with a nice crumb and is perfect to eat just as is or with a smear of butter (or if you are me a tiny bit Trader Joe's cookie-cocoa swirl -- this stuff is amazing).
I almost followed the recipe to the T except for adding some wholewheat flour along with the bread flour and subbed the egg with egg replacer powder. This bread is just slightly sweet and is great to serve for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. I made a French toast with the leftover bread and served with fruit (banana and strawberry) it tasted absolutely heavenly.
Recipe from David Lebovitz's recipe:
Chocolate Yeast Bread
- 1½ cups Bread Flour
- ½ cup Wholewheat Flour (if not using wholewheat flour, use 2cups of bread flour)
- 2¼ tsps Yeast Instant
- 6 tbsps Sugar
- 4 tbsps Butter
- 3 oz chocolate . Bittersweet or Semisweet , chopped
- 1½ tsps Espresso coffee powder or instant (optional)
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Egg replacer powder (or 1 large )
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Cocoa Dutch processed powder
- ¾ cup chocolate Semisweet chips
- ½ cup Almonds walnuts pecans Toasted or or (optional)
- ¾ cup Milk Lukewarm (whole or 2%)
- Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Combine 3oz. chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl that fits over the saucepan (make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water -- basically you are creating a double boiler). Melt the butter and chocolate by stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, whisk the yeast with warm milk, 1tbsp sugar and set aside for a few minutes. Then stir in the remaining sugar, espresso powder, egg replacer mixture (or the egg), vanilla and sea salt.
- Stir in half of the flour and cocoa powder, then the melted chocolate and butter mixture and stir until well incorporated. Next add the remaining flour mixture and knead for 5 minutes.
- The dough is quite sticky but comes together into a bowl. Place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and set aside to rise for 2~3 hours or until it looks quite puffy. My kitchen was quite cold and it took me about 3 hours to get to this stage. Start checking the progress from 11/2 hours just to make sure that it doesn't over-proof.
- Lightly grease a 8½"x4½" loaf pan.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts, if using. Using a spatula, fold the dough over itself in the bowl for about 30 seconds, then transfer it over to the buttered pan, pressing it down to spread to the corners. Cover with a greased plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 35~40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on it. An instant-read thermometer should read 180°F in the center.
- Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes remove the bread from the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
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