I'd had an eye on this recipe for quite a while - every time I searched my del.icio.us, I thought of making this bread.
My food processor is really tiny, so I prepared the dough by hand.
It turned out to be an adventurous task! The dough was kind of liquid, like cake batter - therefore, impossible to be kneaded by hand.
Against my will, I added more flour and then kneaded the dough. I was so mad I cursed the recipe a thousand times. :D
It's one of the softest breads I've ever made. So tender. I ate one slice fresh from the oven and then took some to work.
Though it's not very clear on the photo, it's a braided bread (for the record: I liked it better without the chocolate topping).
Next time I bake this bread, I'll melt the chocolate and use a paper cone to decorate it - it will look a lot more like the bread on the website.
Pane alla cioccolata
350g bread flour – I used 100g more, aprox.
45g Dutch-processed cocoa + 2 tablespoons
2 1/4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
320ml spring water, warmed to 100ºF
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
15g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
125g coarsely chopped high-quality semisweet chocolate
In a large bowl or food processor fitted with metal blade, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, yeast, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the water and egg yolk. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir or process to form a soft dough. By hand, on a lightly floured surface, knead butter into the dough and continue to knead until dough is smooth and supple - about 10 minutes - or in food processor, mix for 45 more seconds.
Proof the dough: Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil and add dough ball, turning to coat all sides of dough. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size - about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn out on a lightly floured surface, knead by hand a few moments, and divide dough into three equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a tight 8-inch ball. Cover with the damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll each of the three balls into a 12-inch-long rope. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the three ropes and form into a braid. Cover with the damp towel and let rise until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Dust the braided loaf with remaining cocoa. Bake in the center of the oven to a deep mahogany color -- about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle chopped chocolate over the hot loaf, and place on a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes a 1kg loaf.