Fancy a bread with half a bar of melting oozing chocolate right in the middle? Well, you can have it, in this lovely bread. It is really a white bread, stuffed with half a bar of chocolate right in the middle, well, the recipe uses only 120gm of chocolate bar in total for two loaves, but I have used 100gm for each loaf, totalling 200gm in all. I divided the 200gm bar into two and used it all up. Hey, nobody's gonna complain about the extra chocolate, at least not in my house!
Here's how the bread is made :
For a start, this bread is made with an overnight sponge.
For a start, this bread is made with an overnight sponge.
(This recipe makes two small loaves. I've used two loaf pans sized 7"x4")
The night before, prepare the sponge by stirring together 3/4 cup hot water (120-130F), yeast, and ginger powder. I have however used cinnamon powder as I did not realize I have ran out of ginger powder! Stir the mixture well, add in 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon to make a thin batter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to work overnight.
The next morning, stir down the sponge (it would have risen and fallen by then), see the second photo above, the sides of the bowl are traces of the batter that has risen and fallen by next morning.
Add hot water, dry milk, sugar, salt and butter, and stir in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time until dough is a rough, shaggy mass. I transferred the dough to the bowl of the stand mixer and used the dough hook to knead the dough about 15 minutes until smooth. In total I've used 3-1/2 cups of bread flour. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat, and cover with greased cling wrap, keep aside to proof for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Punch down the risen dough, knead gently for a few minutes, divide into two balls, cover with kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Working one ball at a time, press dough down and shape into a flat oval, roughly the length of the baking pan. Lay half the chocolate pieces down the center of the dough. Fold the oval in half, pinch the seam to seal, tuck under the ends, and place in the greased pan, seam side down. Cover with greased cling wrap and leave to rise until the dough has risen 1/2" to 1" above the rim of the pan, about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven about 20 minutes before baking.
According to Bernard Clayton, slicing into the bread with a bread knife would smear the chocolate, and best way is to tear the bread by hand! I sliced the bread! Texture of the bread is soft and with the melting oozing chocolate, yummilicious! We finished one loaf on the day itself, and I reheated the second bread by wrapping the loaf in foil for our breakfast the next morning, because we want oozing chocolate! Chocolate for breakfast, now you know what you are missing!
I would suggest using semi-sweet chocolate, as you want it a little sweet but not too bitter.
If you want a plain white bread as a toast for breakfast, simply omit the chocolate, as mentioned in the book "These loaves are small so they may be torn apart with forks or by hand rather than cut (which smears the chocolate). Without the chocolate, this is a fine bread for toasting. Perhaps bake one loaf with and one without".
White Bread with Chocolate
1-1/4 cups hot water (120-130F)
1 package dry yeast (I use 2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
3-1/2 to 4 cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately (I use in total 3-1/2 cups bread flour)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt (1-1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons shortening (I use butter)
4 1-ounce sweet or semisweet chocolate squares, broken in half
Baking Pans : 2 small (7-1/2" x 3-1/2") loaf pans, greased or Teflon
Preparation - Overnight :
The night before, prepare the sponge. In a medium bowl measure 3/4 cup hot water, the yeast, and ginger. Stir well. Blend in 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon to make a thin batter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to work overnight.
In the morning turn back the plastic wrap and stir down the sponge, which will have risen and fallen during the night. Add 1/2 cup hot water, the dry milk, sugar, salt, and shortening. Stir in the balance of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, first with the spoon and then by hand or mixer, until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass that cleans the sides of the bowl. If the dough is slack and moisture breaks through, add sprinkles of flour.
Put the dough under a mixer dough hook, or turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand with the rhythmic motion of push-turn-fold. Add sprinkles of flour if needed. The dough will become smooth and elastic. Continue kneading for 8 minutes by hand or with the dough hook.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover tightly. Leave at room temperature until the dough doubles in bulk and is puffy, about 1 hour.
Now the chocolate is added :
First, punch down the dough and knead for a moment to press out the bubbles. With a sharp knife, divide the loaf. Shape into balls, and let rest under a towel for 5 minutes.
Form each loaf by pressing a ball under the palms into a flat oval, roughly the length of the baking pan. Lay half the chocolate pieces down the center of the oval. Fold the oval in half, pinch the seam tightly to seal, tuck under the ends, and place in the pan, seam down. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
Cover the pans with wax paper and leave until the center of the dough has risen 1/2" to 1" above the edge, about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F, 20 minutes before baking.
Bake the laoves for about 35 minutes, until the loaves are a golden brown. Tapping the bottom of each loaf should yield a hard, hollow sound when done. If not done, return to the oven in their pans for up to an additional 10 minutes. Midway during baking and again near the end of it, shift the loaves so they are exposed equally to the oven's temperature variations.
(If using convection oven, reduce heat 40 degrees).
Remove the bread from the oven. Turn the loaves onto a metal rack to cool.
This bread is absolutely delicious served warm, but expect to smear the chocolate if you cut the slices with a knife. To tear by hand is best.
I'm linking this post to "My Treasured Recipes #2 - Dough Starter Breads (Aug/Sept 2014)" hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well In Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House.