This Chocolate Bread is definitely a chocolate lovers bread recipe, make it plain or add some chocolate chips, nuts or your own favourites. Delicious as a breakfast or snack treat!
Bread has always been a must in our house, Italians can’t live without their daily bread. And this chocolate bread makes any day even more special. An easy yeast bread that gives amazing results.
How to make it
In the stand up mixer add the water, a pinch of sugar and yeast, let sit for 5 minutes then stir together. Add the flour, cocoa (I like to sift it to remove any lumps) sugar and vanilla. Start to knead then add the salt, continue to knead for about 8-10 minutes.
Add the nuts and chocolate chips if using, knead 1 minutes just to combine. Cover the bowl and let sit.
Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and pat into a rectangle, then fold to form an envelope, turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat.
Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm draft free area until doubled. Remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured flat surface and again flatten with the palm of your hand, fold the dough over, cover and let sit 15 minutes.
Reshape the dough into your desired loaf shape, place on the prepared cookie sheet, cover and let rise. Score the dough, then spray or sprinkle with water and bake. Once the dough is baked move immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.
How much yeast to use
The go to rule is 1% yeast for every 100 grams of flour, for example 2 grams of yeast for 200 grams of flour. If you use more than that your baked bread will have a yeasty taste. You can use less, although it will take more time to rise, but the flavour will be stronger.
Reasons dough doesn’t rise
There are quite a few reasons why the dough doesn’t rise, the main ones being, your yeast has expired or is dead, the room where your bread is rising is too cold, so it will need more time to rise, or your liquid is too hot which killed the yeast.
The best temperature for bread to rise in, is 75-78F (23-25C).
What is the best temperature for water
In order to activate the yeast the best temperature for the water is 95-100F(35-38C), if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold and the yeast will take a very long time to activate.
Why does bread cool on a wire rack?
A wire rack will allow air to circulate around the bread, therefore it will cool faster, plus it will keep the bread from forming a soggy bottom.
How to tell if your Yeast is Active:
How to test yeast to make sure it is fresh, in a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of sugar, sprinkle 2-1/4 teaspoons of yeast on top. Wait 10 minutes. If the mixture bubbles, then the yeast is still good.
If you prefer you can substitute instant yeast for active dry, you will need 25% less of instant, for example 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast is equal to 3/4 teaspoon of instant yeast. And rising time will probably be shortened. If you prefer fresh yeast then just double the amount of active dry yeast.
Can the dough be refrigerated to Bake later?
Yes you can let the dough rise in the refrigerate, in a covered bowl, it’s best to use it within 48 hours. Another option would be to freeze the dough but be sure to use it within 4 weeks. Just thaw it overnight in the fridge, bring it to room temperature for about 30 minutes then bake.
How to Store Baked Bread
If the Baked bread is a crusty loaf then it should be stored unwrapped at room temperature. But once the bread has been sliced be sure to place the bread in closed paper bags. If the bread has a soft crust then it should be stored in an airtight plastic bag or container and stored at room temperature. It should last 3-4 days at room temperature. Bread should never be refrigerated because it will dry it out.
How to Freeze Homemade Baked Bread:
- Be sure to let the loaves cool completely before freezing.
- Wrap the loaves individually in plastic wrap (be sure to wrap tightly).
- Then wrap either in foil or place in air tight freezer bags.
- Bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Thaw Frozen Bread:
Remove the bread from the bag and wrapping and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. The loaf can be warmed up in the oven at 350F (180C) for about 3-5 minutes.
How to tell when the bread is done
There are three ways to tell when the bread is done, the first is by looking at the colour of the bread, which is usually a light to dark golden brown (depending on the bread), with this chocolate bread it will be hard to tell although it does darken once it is baked, the second is by knocking on the bottom of the bread, if there is a hollow sound it usually means the bread is done and the third is by the internal temperature which should be 190F (88C) or 200F (93C) for Brioche type breads.
More delicious Yeast Breads
So if you are looking for a different kind of bread then I hope you give this Chocolate Bread Recipe a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Chocolate Bread Recipe
- 1 cup water (lukewarm) (235 grams)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 pinch granulate sugar (divided)
- 1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose or bread flour (332 grams)
- 3¼ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (sifted) (25 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped nuts
- 4-5 tablespoons chocolate chips
- In the stand up mixer mix together the water and a pinch of sugar, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for 5-10 minutes then stir together.
- Add the flour, cocoa, (be sure to sift it to remove any lumps) sugar and vanilla. Start to knead then add the salt, continue to knead for about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the nuts and the chocolate chips if using, knead 1 minute just to combine. Cover the bowl and let sit 30 minutes.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and pat into a rectangle, then fold the top down to meet the middle then bring the bottom over the top (to form an envelope), turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat the folding. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl turning the dough in the bowl to lightly cover in oil, cover and let rise in a warm draft free area until doubled, approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured flat surface and again flatten with the palm of your hand, fold the dough in half, cover and let sit 15 minutes.
- Reshape the dough into your desired loaf shape, place it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover and let rise 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 480F (250C) for 30-35 minutes, then reduce the heat to 430F (225 C) before placing the bread in the oven.
- Score the dough, then spray or sprinkle with water and bake for approximately 10 minutes, reduce the oven again to 350F (180C) and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Once the dough is baked move immediately to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!