Chocolate Swirl Bread

February 27, 2011 § 5 Comments

Pssst… People…. I have discovered it – the perfect antioxidant rich breakfast that should be part of a balanced diet – CHOCOLATE SWIRL BREAD.  IMG_3229

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I eat it for the abundant antioxidants ;) – and pretty please, you should too…for the antioxidants, ofcourse. These things are important.

It is also deeply darkly chocolaty – but THAT is just incidental.

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I made the bread last night and we had it for breakfast today morning–  comfortingly chocolaty, but not too sweet. I had it with a cup of cold milk, warmly ensconced on the couch in front of the TV. Ah.. Saturday mornings with antioxidant rich breakfasts ;) .. sigh.. love… bliss….

Next time, I might make small braided rolls (with the added cuteness value), and skip the loaf entirely.

And here is how I made it.

Ingredients:
For the dough:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp instant dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 +1/4 cup all purpose flour
For the filling:
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter (at room temperature)
1tbsp instant espresso granules
Water (enough to make a paste)

  • Combine the water, milk and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the sugar. The mixture should be warm (and not hot!) to touch. If not microwave for a few seconds more as necessary. Sprinkle yeast over the liquid mixture; let stand until foamy, for about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk the egg in a small bowl and set aside one tablespoon of the egg. Whisk the remaining beaten egg and salt into the liquid + yeast mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, measure out 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will be very sticky. But if too watery, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour slowly. Mix well to avoid any lumps – this takes about 5-6 minutes.
  • Incorporate 2 tbsp of room temperature butter into the sticky dough mixture. I used my hands to do so.
  • Oil/Butter a large bowl. Turn the dough into the bowl (including all the dough sticking to your fingers if you used your hands in step 4). Turn dough once in the bowl to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel/cling wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise. The dough will double in about an hour (depending on the temperature). Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and knead for about 7 minutes to form a soft, pliable dough. Transfer it back to the bowl, cover with clean kitchen towel/cling wrap and set aside in a warm place for another hour.
  • Finely chop the chocolate or break it into pieces and pulse in a food processor. Turn the chocolate mixture into a bowl and combine well with the 2 tbsps of sugar and butter, to form a slightly sticky mixture.
  • Generously butter one 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Combine the tbsp of egg set aside in Step 2 above with one tbsp of water to make an egg wash.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle, the dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Brush edges with the egg wash. Spread the chocolate mixture on the the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border on the two shorter sides and one of the longer sides.
  • Roll the dough up tightly, starting at the longer side without the 1/4 inch border (like a jam/jelly roll). Pinch ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Tear off the ends without the chocolate filling. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Cover with clean towel and let stand in a warm place until it puffs up (about 30 minutes)
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash. Bake the loaf for about 25 minutes or until the tops are well browned. Take the pan out of the oven and tent loosely with foil. Place the pan back into the oven and bake for another 25 minutes or until a tester/skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean – I.e., without any raw dough sticking to the tester, the chocolate will melt and might stick to the tester/skewer.
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Almost No-Knead Baguette

February 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

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I am beaming as I write this .. I made a baguette! Ok.. so it was not a traditional, kneaded, labor intensive baguette. But, hey – it was nevertheless a pretty good first baguette and definitely better than a baguette from the local supermarket, which might have been on the shelves for heaven knows how long.

I followed the recipe for the almost no-knead baguette from the King Arthur Flour website. The recipe has been beautifully illustrated with step-by-step photographs in a blog post by P J Hamel on the King Arthur Flour blog as well. However,  I did not have any King Arthur Flour on hand – and I could not wait to try my hand at the recipe. So I used the all purpose flour I had on hand, and the baguette turned out quite well.

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The baguette had a nice crust and a chewy soft interior with loads of irregular air pockets. The recipe requires that the unbaked formed loaf should be sprayed with water before baking. However, I did not have spritzer to spray the dough. So I  gently dabbed the unbaked formed dough with a dampened (and clean) dish cloth instead.

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The yeasty dough and the baguette in the oven filled the apartment with the warm and comforting smell of fresh bread. The recipe is worth attempting just for that. By the way, did you know that there are fragrance oils, incenses sticks, candles etc in ‘fresh baked bread’ fragrance? For me however, this bread does it.

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