Friday, March 19, 2010

Chocolate Bread (Pane al Cioccolato)


I remember getting this bread, or something like it, at Turtle Bread. It was absolutely fabulously delicious, especially when schmeared with mascarpone. The recipes (here and here) I derived this from are pretty complex, and give the measurements in weight and traditional cups/tbsps. I prefer the latter, so that's what I'll use primarily. If you want weights, feel free to look at those links.

The Night Before:
You need to mix "biga naturales" which are a form of starter. I think they recipe would be fine without this, but you might want to increase the yeast later:

1/4c. flour
1/8c. water
pinch of yeast

Mix, and then let sit covered at least 8 hours (or overnight).

Day Of:

Biga Naturales, cut into small pieces
3 c. flour
1 1/8c. water
1/4 c. honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp salt

1/4-1/2 c. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, then knead for 5-8 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Knead in chocolate chips.

Let rest until doubled in covered lightly oiled bowl (around 2 hours).

Divide into as many loaves as you want (this makes 3 smallish loaves, or 2 medium loaves). Shape into spheres, let rest 20 minutes, then shape into the final shape. Score with 2-3 slashes.

Let rest until around twice the original size (the original recipe said 3 hours, but I don't have that kind of patience.)

Place a stout pan in the bottom of the oven with ~1c. water, and preheat to 400 degrees. The recipes online say it should take 20 + 20 minutes with a rotation, but I found it only took about 12 + 12 minutes, so just use your instincts.

Let rest at least 1 hour. Eat (I don't foresee this step being a problem)

I only made this once, so anyone who wants to post modifications is quite welcome.

1 comment:

Lillian said...

I tested the recipe pretty much as Alex posted it. The biga and loaves didn't rise very high for me, but I think the cocoa butter prevents it from getting spongier. Turned out delicious! Most of the sweetness comes from the chocolate chips, which is just right for me. Might not be sweet enough for some.