“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
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
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.
#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:
- Buttermilk Chocolate Quick Bread by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Chocolate Brownie Quick Bread by Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
- Chocolate Chip Challah Bread by Lora at Cake Duchess
- Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls by Dionne at Try Anything Once Culinary
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Braid by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate Swirl Bread by Holly at A Baker's House
- Dark Chocolate and Prune Bread by Deepti at Bakingyummies
- Dates and Chocolate Brioche by Rossella at Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Love Me, Love Me Knots by Felice at All That's Left Are The Crumbs
- Marbled Rye Bread by Karen at Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
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.