Thursday, January 1, 2015

Braided Chocolate and Cacao Nib Bread

Makes one loaf
Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This bread is fun to make and perfect for chocolate lovers.  Make a batch of No-Knead Brioche dough (one batch of dough will make four loaves) and freeze it for when you want to make a special chocolate treat.  Thaw the dough in the fridge overnight and then follow these directions.  (More photos beneath the recipe.)

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
½ cup cacao nibs 
cup sugar
½ cup water

Grease an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan. (I used cooking spray.)
Roll out the dough into a ¼ inch thick rectangle.
In a small saucepan, combine the bittersweet chocolate and butter. Heat until they are melted, and then remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and cardamom (if using). Stir to form a smooth paste (if your chocolate paste is too firm to spread, add 1Tablespoon of butter and gently heat to loosen.) Spread the chocolate paste over the dough, leaving a ¾ inch border. Sprinkle the cacao nibs evenly over the chocolate.  Starting with the long end of the dough, roll the dough into a log. Trim about ¾ inch off both ends of the roll. (I set these pieces aside and used them to make a mini brioche.) Gently cut the roll into half lengthwise, so the layers of dough and filling are visible.  With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half, and continue until you have braided the entire roll. Press the ends together.  Carefully lift the bread into the prepared loaf pan. Cover the pan plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 ½ hours. The bread will rise about as high as the loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Bake the bread 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. While the bread is baking, make the syrup: combine the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over medium, and bring to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, brush the sugar-water all over the top of the bread, using all of it. Let the bread cool a bit, and when it is just warm to the touch, remove from the pan and let finish cooling on a wire rack.

1 comment:

suzieQ said...

Looks so yummy! An easy brioche you say? I am going to pin this, thanks!