Dark Chocolate and Prune Bread for #TwelveLoaves

Bakingyummies

         “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” 
                                                                                                                              - Charles M. Schulz



Very soft and moist, loaded with juicy prunes and dark chocolate....get ready for a fabulously flavorful start to your day!



First of all, as you might have noticed (if you haven't then I'm an idiot and now you will) the size of the bread is more like that of a quick bread rather than a yeast loaf. That is because I halved the recipe, as my husband is not a dark chocolate fan (yeah god has made such humans) and how much bread can I eat? I still baked it in a 8 1/2 * 4 1/2 loaf pan and so the shortfall in height. But don't for a moment think that the texture might have been compromised. It's incredibly soft much to my amazement.



I wanted to make this bread quite sometime back but I was actually waiting for our Twelve Loaves group to announce CHOCOLATE as the theme. You see, a bread such as this deserves a special occasion and so when they did, I leapt in joy, gathered my ingredients and started my journey to make, shape and bake this lovely chocolatey prune bread :)

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days.



This is the first time I've used prunes in baking. Since these are actually dried plums, I had imagined them to be 'dry' in look and feel but they turned out to be sticky like how dates are. But believe me it is this stickiness that is responsible for such a soft and moist bread.

Only after tasting a slice, I got to know how wonderfully sour and bittersweet flavor pairing works. The juicy pitted slightly sour prunes and chunks of dark chocolate....yum. Like this was not enough, I'm going to take the next step and use the slices to make Dark Chocolate & Prune Bread and Butter Pudding! :D

Note: The recipe below is the original one and not halved.

Recipe Source: Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno

Ingredients
500 grams / 1 lb bread flour or strong white flour
1 plus 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 plus 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (if the weather is quite cold, use 2 teaspoons instead)
350 ml / 12fl oz water at room temperature (you might need more or less depending on the flour's absorbency)
30 grams / 1 ounce unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra to grease loaf tin
200 grams / 7 ounces pitted prunes roughly chopped
200 grams / 7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate roughly chopped
1 egg lightly beaten at room temperature

Method
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour and salt. Add the yeast and mix. Pour in the water and mix with a large metal spoon (or on low speed of the electric mixer with the paddle attachment) until all the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more water until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter and knead (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook) adding more flour if necessary to create a dough that is soft, smooth and elastic.

Lightly butter a large bowl and rotate the dough in the bowl so as to coat the dough with fat. Cover the bowl with a cling film and let it rest at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size.

Grease an 8 1/2 * 4 1/2 loaf pan with butter. Knock back the dough and leave to rest for 10 mins. Add the prunes, chocolate, butter and egg. Use your hands to gently squeeze all the ingredients into the dough until they are evenly distributed and the egg gets absorbed as shown below:


Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until just firm enough to shape, 1-2 minutes.

Follow these steps and shape the dough into a loaf. Place the shaped dough in the loaf tin, loosely cover with a tea towel or a cling film and leave to prove until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F and bake the bread until lightly browned and hollow sounding when tapped at the bottom. Turn out on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Storage Suggestions: This bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days in a ziplock bag or frozen for up to a month.

Happy Baking!!!

#TwelveLoaves February: Chocolate. We were good all January with our Keep it Simple theme, now it's time to get a little decadent. February #TwelveLoaves is all about Chocolate!

Have a look at what the other talented bakers of #TweleveLoaves group have baked:
Choose a recipe featuring chocolate. (It could be a bread accented with chocolate chips, baked with cocoa powder, chocolate spreads, whatever you love!). Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with chocolate. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this February, 2014, and posted on your blog by February 28, 2014.


20 comments

  1. Chocolate and prunes, I really want to try your combination of saveurs. It sounds (and looks) great.

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    1. Thank you Rosella. I'm glad you liked it :)

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  2. Yes, this is one moist and wonderful loaf! I have to make a lot of small batches due to a picky hubby, but, thankfully, he does like all chocolate :)

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    1. When you and your partner don't have similar taste palates, cooking sometimes becomes tricky!

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  3. Love that quote from Charles M. Schulz! so true! and your chocolate and prune bread looks great!!!

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    1. I know right? A wonderful quote and thanks for the compliment Alice! :)

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  4. I can certainly say this has me adding prunes to my shopping list. What a wonderful flavor combo.

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    1. Thanks Renee! I loved the combo too.

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  5. Love the prune idea! How moist and sweet they must make it. Lovely bread!

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    1. Thank you Dorothy :) Right and that's the reason this recipe doesn't have any extra sugar added to the dough.

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  6. I don't know how prunes have gotten such a bad reputation, Deepti, because I think they are lovely and sweet and will eat them straight out of the bag they came in. What a great pairing of flavors! And what a lovely loaf!

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    1. I know Stacy, things that have bad reputation especially in culinary world, sometimes just throw unbelievably good flavors. Thank you for the compliment :)

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  7. I have some prunes in the pantry just waiting for such a recipe- thanks!

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  8. The sweetest quote and the most lovely loaf! I adore prunes in desserts (I'm so happy I'm not the only one!). There's actually one Italian dessert I make w/dried plums that my kids adore. I know this bread would be a huge hit!

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    1. Thanks Lora, I really hope your kids like this bread :)

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  9. This bread looks so delicious, and I know that chocolate and prunes are a great combination. I think they started calling them dried plums to get away from the prune stigma. Your bread and photos are gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you so much Karen! I don't know why there's such hoopla about prunes, I think they taste great!

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  10. As soon as I saw your bread I immediately thought of bread pudding too. I love that you combined prunes (or dried plums as the marketing people call them ;)) and dark chocolate - yum!

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    1. Thanks Felice! I've already made the pudding, will post it soon :)

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