Chocolate Bread

Yep, you read that correctly.

I found a recipe that combined my two most favorite cooking things ever: bread and chocolate.

I needed something pretty spectacular to celebrate getting back in the kitchen, and I was really stoked to be able to use my giant counter-space to knead my dough.

But I think my expectations were a little too high…

The Recipe:

Chocolate Bread, from David Lebovitz

3/4 c whole or low-fat milk, heated until just tepid

1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons)

6 T  sugar

4 T butter

3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 t instant coffee

1 large egg

1/2 t vanilla extract

3/4 t sea salt

2 cups bread flour

1/4 c unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk.  Add one T sugar, then set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.

While the yeast is activating, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and 3 oz chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water.  Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat.

Once the yeast mixture is frothy, mix in the remaining sugar, the instant coffee, the egg, vanilla, and sea salt.

Stir in half 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 five 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.

Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

Stir in the chocolate chips.  Then use a spatula to fold the dough over on itself in the bowl for about thirty seconds, then transfer it to the buttered pan, pressing a bit to spread it to the corners.  Let rise in a warm place for one hour.

Ten minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Bake the bread for 35 to 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 180ºF.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting…maybe something sweeter…maybe something yeastier.  I’m not sure, but what I got was something completely different – not in bad way, mind you, just in a different way.

Anyways, let’s go back to the beginning when I kept making some (minor) mistakes.

First off, I misread tablespoon for teaspoon as I started to add my yeast – but I caught myself after one tablespoon.  And I figured 1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoons, which is pretty close to 2 1/4, right?

(Let’s just say if this happens to you, keep your eye on the rising dough – it may be ready sooner than expected.)

Secondly, I let my bread raise on top of my warm oven…which seemed to, um, make the dough warm up and toughen a little (I’m thinking it was a little too warm with it being in the metal bowl as opposed to the glass bowl I usually use).   It ended up fine, but I think my bread would’ve been lighter if this hadn’t happened.

Oh, and as an added benefit, because the dough was warm, it melted a bunch of the chocolate chips I’d added.  Awesome.

Thirdly (which technically wasn’t a mistake, just a disappointment), I was so excited to knead my dough on the counters.  It was the main reason why I went with bread for my first recipe back.  And when looking at the pictures on David Lebovitz’s site, it shows him kneading a dark, chunky, chocolate loaf.  Only after I had gotten halfway through the recipe did I realize that that was a picture of one of his ‘test’ recipes and that his final recipe was all done in the bowl.  I was really bummed.

Anyways, even with all those things happening, the bread turned out pretty good.  Now, it’s not the prettiest bread in the world (in fact, Hubs referred to it as looking like a big, um, insert bathroom related word here.)  It is very chocolately – dark chocolately, that is.

I’ll let you decide for yourself what you think it looks like…

It really is a loaf of bread, that is chocolate flavored.  Not a quick bread or sweet loaf – a real loaf of chocolate bread.  It’s kind of overpowering in flavor on its own, but with a tiny dab of butter, everything mellows out and tastes great.  I’m thinking, also, that I might try using it for french toast tomorrow.

Nobody else really liked it except me, and it wasn’t my absolute favorite (which made me sad), but it wasn’t bad.  And I’m excited to try the slices in some fun and different ways (maybe even a pb&j sandwich), just to experiment a bit.

Oh, and don’t feel bad for the counters… Hubs inaugurated them properly with some flour and pizza dough.

(And I got to wipe them off, straight into our new undermounted sink.  It was amazing!)

(And yes, I know it’s probably sad that that makes me so happy, but I don’t care.)

Have a fantastic weekend!

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20 thoughts on “Chocolate Bread

  1. It’s a shame this bread did not turn out as awesome as planned – I was all set to bookmark the idea! Looks like chocolate banana bread will have to suffice 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. I, too, thought this bread would be amazing. Your comments, though, have made me think otherwise, especially considering no one else liked it. In reality, though, who cares? You got to use your new countertop and undermounted sink. Now, that’s what’s really important here! 🙂

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  3. Courtney, I have to say I am very envious of your counter tops! Oh how I wish… Someday…

    I love chocolate and I love love love bread… I have not had awesome luck with true chocolate breads either. But, your kitchen looks amazing!!

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  4. Fate is an amazing thing. I went to our local Cordon Bleu cooking school restaurant, Technique, which I had heard so much about and ate DELICIOUS chocolate bread from the bread basket. They served it with soft butter covered in black sea salt for the record and it was the most memorable part of the meal. Everything else was delicious but the bread had me dreaming about it that night. Then, wouldn’t you know it, here is a recipe for just the thing! I am so very happy Courtney. I know it didn’t rate well at your house, but I can’t help but think this might be very close to what I had that night.

    LOVE THE COUNTER TOPS! 🙂 And it’s not weird that you are very happy about the undermounted sink. I love mine.

    As for blogging…I think I am done. Something just switched “off” and I really have lost that lovin’ feeling. But I will check back here all the time and who knows, maybe I’ll get re-inspired soon. —Geni

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    • I’m so sad Geni (but I do understand) – you’re just one of my baking heroes, and I’ll be sad to not see your posts…hopefully a long break will be all you need and then you’ll be back. I’ll cross my fingers because you are seriously one of the most talented baker/writer/photographers I know!

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