When I plunged my tense hands into the semi-dark dough, my frustrations began to melt away. There was something wonderfully relaxing about kneading the dough when the only thing I wanted to do was scream at the stupidity that inspired me to bake bread in the first place.
I rarely bake breads for the simple fact it takes so much time. But, one evening, I was so frustrated I wanted to eat an entire tub of chocolate ice cream. Since no ice cream could be found in my freezer, I thought about baking cookies. But then I realized I was out of eggs. Talk about even more frustrating. Finally, I decided the best way to really make my frustration work for me was to knead dough like it’s never been kneaded before.
What makes this bread unique was the layer of semisweet chocolate chips swirled throughout the center of the bread. Also, while there is a bit of cocoa in the dough itself, the flavor was much milder than expected. Overall, I thought the bread was good. It was best when it was warm, but the melted chocolate made quite a mess to eat. It did, however, do a pretty good job at releasing my tension.
Double Chocolate Swirl Bread
3 to 3 ½ cups flour
4 tsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 pack active dry yeast, quick rise
1 cup milk
3 Tbl. brown sugar
1 Tbl. butter
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 Tbl. light corn syrup
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, loosely crushed
Fit your mixer with the dough hook. In the mixing bowl, stir together 1 ½ cups of the flour, the cocoa powder, and yeast. Warm the milk, brown sugar, butter and salt to about 125 degrees. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the warmed liquid into the mixing bowl. Add the egg and vanilla to the dough. Increase the speed to medium high and add the remaining flour until the dough is completely combined. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Add flour if the dough is too sticky.
Pat the dough into a small ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until double in size. Punch down the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Roll out the dough into a 12 X 8 inch rectangle. Brush with corn syrup, and evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips. Lightly press the chips into the corn syrup. Starting with the short end, roll the dough into a spiral. Tuck the ends under and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until double.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes. If the bread begins to overbrown, cover the bread with foil for the last 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and lightly brush the top with melted butter for extra flavor.
Adapted from New Dieter’s Cookbook