Life's a feast choose the Babes and us Buddies a chocolate prune bread to bake along. I wasn't too sure about the combination of bread and chocolate. Oh yes, we do love pain au chocolat, but would this be sweet enough? Would it taste like cake? (Hope so, hope so, hope so.) IT DOES!!
Jamie is very enthusiastic about the book this recipe is from: The new artisan bread in five minutes a day by Jeff Herzberg and Zoë François and the bakers' website is definitely worth a visit (www.artisanbreadinfive.com). Their idea is to make a basic dough without kneading -within 5 minutes-, store it in the fridge and use chunks of it whenever you feel like baking. Ideal!!
I decided to make half the dough recipe and use it all for one big chocolate prune bread. Well, it turned out fantastic! Far better than expected, what a nice surprise and what an easy way of baking. I'm afraid my baking book collection desperately needs a new acquisition!
Chocolate prune bread recipe (makes 1 big loaf)
Day 1 - make the basic chocolate dough
283 ml lukewarm water
85 ml vegetable oil
5 gr instant yeast
9 gr sea salt
100 gr caster sugar
390 gr flour (a mix of equal parts plain flour and strong white bread flour)
43 gr dark unsweetened cocoa powder
85 gr chocolate (in small chunks) - a mix of 43% and 72% cocoa content
Mix and store the dough
Mix the oil, yeast, salt and sugar with the water in a lidded bowl. Add flour and cocoa powder and quickly mix with a danish dough whisk, or wooden spoon. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Cover the bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for approximately two hours. The dough might rise and collapse in this time. Then store the (airtight) covered bowl in the fridge and use the dough within the next 5 days. (The dough can even be frozen at this stage. When using frozen dough, thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before using, then allow the usual rest and rise times.)
The next day, baking day (or within 5 days)
the chilled dough, mine was approx. 970 gr
75 gr chocolate chunks, same mix as above
200 gr halved pitted prunes
1 beaten egg for egg wash
50 gr caster sugar for sprinkling
baking paper and butter for lining and greasing the bread tin
Prepare a large bread tin (31 x 13 cm) with baking paper and grease it with butter, sprinkle some sugar evenly over the butter. Use the dough straight from the fridge. It's easier to handle when it's cold. Flatten the dough on a floured work surface until 1 cm thick.
Use just enough flour not to let it stick too much. Divide the chocolate chunks and prunes evenly over the dough and roll up the dough jelly-roll style to enclose them. Fold the dough over itself several times, turning and pressing it down with the heel of your hands after each turn, to divide the chocolate and prunes. Don't worry, some pieces will poke through.
Shape the dough to fit your prepared bread tin, cover the tin and leave to rise for 90 mins. Preheat the oven to 165C (fan). Just before baking, score the loaf, give it a coating of egg wash and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar. Bake the loaf for 60 mins. Turn off the oven and leave the loaf in the closed oven for another 10 mins. Take out, then leave to rest in the tin for 5 mins. before carefully taking it out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.