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The Chocolate Meister

Chocolate Bread

Chocolate bread

I could have chosen to present you with liquid salted caramel or chocolate mousse or truffles or chocolate tart or any number of other sweet treats which were made during the masterclass, but this bread appealled to me as a mode of chocolate delivery that didn’t also involve adding lots of sugar.

It works very nicely (I think) toasted, buttered and eaten with your morning coffee, particularly if you have a fondness (as I do) for eating darker chocolate. The bread actually feels like a mature and sophisticated way to enjoy a chocolate hit.

For the chocolate, I used a bar with 70% cocoa solids, along with a small amount having 100% cocoa solids, which is what I happened to have.

You’ll need:

  • 20g fresh yeast or 2.5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 325ml warm water
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 600g strong white flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp fine salt
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 25g butter, softened
  • 250g dark chocolate, min. 60% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
  • an additional egg yolk for glazing

You’ll also need:

  • One large or two smaller baking sheets to accommodate the loaves in the oven.

The Steps:

  • Combine the yeast, water and a generous pinch of sugar in a bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes until bubbly, then add in the egg yolk.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and caster sugar in a large, warm mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix to form a soft dough with your hands and then incorporate the chocolate pieces. If it feels too wet and sticky, sprinkle with some more flour.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, or go ahead and knead using your mixer and dough hook for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Now place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free area until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch back. Divide into two equal pieces and shape into rounds or ovals as you prefer. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 220C
  • Beat the second egg yolk with a fork and brush over the surface of the loaves. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190C and continue to bake for another 25 minutes or so, watching carefully so that the loaves don’t get scorched at the end.
  • Cool on a wire rack, then slice and enjoy.

The Variations:

  • The most obvious way to vary this is by varying the chocolate you add – always, of course, using a chocolate that you’d be perfectly happy to eat on its own.

The Results:

  • Makes 2 small loaves