Chocolate Bread with Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks and Toasted Almonds

Chocolate and bread – two of my biggest loves in life.

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Reportedly, this bread smelled amazing while baking in the oven. The rich chocolate aroma permeating the room was enough for my friend’s flatmate to betray her 20 000 yuan personal trainer and actually eat carbs.

Unfortunately I had a blocked nose and couldn’t smell anything. D:

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That doesn’t mean I couldn’t taste anything. The slightly bitter dough contrasted wonderfully with the puddles of chocolate and the fragrant nuttiness of the toasted almonds dotted throughout.

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Sorry for the out of focus picture, I was too excited.

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That being said, this is a chocolate bread, not a chocolate cake. Don’t expect it to taste sweet and buttery, so this might be good if you’re baking for those that don’t really have a sweet tooth (why). A slice of this bread goes perfect with a strong cup of coffee.

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(Sorry for the messy potatoes next to the loaf)

I got this recipe from David Lebovitz, who is my authority for all things chocolate.

Ingredients (enough to make a 9″ loaf)

  • 180ml tepid mik
  • 1 packet dry active yeast (8g)
  • 75g sugar
  • 55g butter, unsalted
  • 85g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 280g bread flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 90g chocolate chips/coarsely chopped chocolate (this chocolate is to be mixed in with the bread dough at the end)
  • 70g toasted almonds/pecans/walnuts/hazelnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

Method

  1. Toast the nut of your choice (I toasted my almonds at 180°C for 8 mins).
  2. Mix yeast, milk, 11g of sugar in a bowl until bubbles form (about 5 mins).
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter and the 85g of bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler.
  4. Once the yeast is frothy, add the remaining sugar (64g), coffee, egg, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Stir in half of the flour and cocoa powder, then add the melted butter and chocolate. Then add the remaining flour and cocoa powder, stirring until well-incorporated.
  6. Knead until smooth by mixing the dough vigorously in the bowl with a spatula, until it looks smooth and glossy. Cover the bowl with cling film, and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  7. After 2 hours, butter a 9″ loaf pan. Stir in the chopped chocolate/chocolate chips and toasted nuts to the bread dough. Transfer to the loaf pan, pressing the dough into the corners. Cover with cling film and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Bake for 175°C, 35-40 mins, or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.

Notes

  • You can also melt your butter and chocolate in the microwave. Just use the low setting and don’t microwave for too long (like 10s bursts).
  • I used >70% chocolate for both the batter and the chips, and the taste can be too rich/bitter for some. If you are one of those, maybe try using milk chocolate chips to stir into the bread dough.
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