Chocolate Bread

This is my twist on a David Lebovitz's recipe. The resulting crumb is somewhat denser and crumblier than ordinary bread, but the taste is really fantastic, and goes well with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of milk. If you don't have a particularly warm spot in your abode, you can place the dough in a cold oven with a pan of boiling water; this creates the warm, moist environment that yeast loves. Note that if you do this, it's unnecessary to cover the dough as it rises.

Chocolate Bread

About This Recipe

Yield:10 to 12
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:5 hours (including rising times)
Special equipment:Stand mixer (optional)
This recipe appears in: A Twist on David Lebovitz's Chocolate Bread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup soy milk, slightly warmed (not over 110ºF)
  • 1 envelope (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable shortening
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, or coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips, or coarsely chopped milk chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs (optional)

Procedures

  1. 1

    In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the soy milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid, give it a gentle stir, and set aside until it begins to foam, about 10 minutes.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, microwaving for 15 seconds, then stirring, and continuing in 5-10 second bursts alternated with stirring until melted. You can also use a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

  3. 3

    Once the yeast is frothy, mix in the remaining sugar, the egg, vanilla, and salt.

  4. 4

    Stir in half the flour and cocoa powder, then the melted chocolate and butter, then the rest of the flour mixture, and stir until well-incorporated. Mix vigorously with a spatula or a wooden spoon for five minutes, until smooth. If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and beat for five minutes.

  5. 5

    Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or with a damp paper towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. It will be about double its original size.

  6. 6

    Butter a 9" loaf pan. Stir the chocolate and nibs (if using) into the dough; it may be a little stiff, in which case just knead it as you would regular bread dough: fold it in half over on itself, give it a quarter turn, and repeat. Stir/knead for 2 minutes, then gather the dough into a ball and place it seam-side down in the prepared pan. Pat down the dough until it's even, and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

  7. 7

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes, or until it appears done and sounds hollow when thumped; or its internal temperature reaches 180ºF. Allow to cool completely in pan.

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