Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chocolate Bread

Chocolate Bread
Yesterday was a snow day here in the Poconos, (second one in a row) so after being out all day at dentist appointments and running errands, I really wanted to bake something.  I had found a recipe similar to this about a month ago when I was looking up chocolate bread muffin ideas and I was very intrigued.  A regular yeast based bread that is chocolate?  How cool!!  I referenced the recipe I had found as well as a couple for plain whole wheat bread, mixed them up a bit and came up with this.  I know it would be even better with some chopped nuts, dried fruit or mini chocolate chips baked in, but for the first time I wanted it plain, to get a real sense of the flavor.

It certainly made the house smell amazing, and even better, both my kids loved it and ate it for breakfast this morning with peanut butter on top.  I used quick rising yeast this time, basically because I didn't get started until almost 6pm and I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to get the bread baked and properly cooled before I headed to bed. The instant yeast did not work as well as I had hoped and next time I will use regular yeast and allow 1 hour of rising time for each of the steps (as opposed to the 1/2 hour I used this time.)  The bread did not actually rise a whole lot until it was baked, but it still came out moist, dense and delicious. 

Chocolate Bread
dry ingredients

1 package quick rising instant dry yeast (or regular)*
3 C. organic whole wheat flour
2 T. ground flax seeds
1/4 C. dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 C. molasses
1/4 C. organic canola oil
1/4 C. organic milk
1 C. warm strong coffee

In a large bowl mix the yeast, flour, flax seed, cocoa, salt and cinnamon. Add the molasses, oil, milk and coffee into the flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough is formed. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until it becomes very elastic and smooth. The dough should be slightly sticky. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.  Punch the dough down and knead a couple of times.  Divide the dough into four equal portions and shape into mini loaf pans.  Cover again and let rise for 30 minutes more.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.  When the breads have risen, bake them for about 35 minutes, tenting loosely with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excess browning.  Let cool for a few minutes and then remove from pans. 
*double the rising time if using regular yeast

dough, ready to rise
ready to rise
after rising, ready to bake

hot from the oven

as a lunch sandwich for my husband
(with natural peanut butter)

Breakfast for my son
(with chocolate peanut butter)

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