February is here and that means another #TwelveLoaves challenge. We took it a little easy with our bread baking in January and had a "Keep it Simple!" theme. Even the simple breads were just amazing!
But February is the month to go a little more decadent...a little more daring. February is the month of love and also a month for loving CHOCOLATE!
#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! 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!
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy.
Looking for some CHOCOLATE inspiration? Here are the fantastic Twelve Loaves bakers and their bread for February:
- 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
Yields 2 challah breads
Chocolate Chip Challah Bread
Prep Time: approx 2-3 hours
Cook Time: approx 35-40 minutes
Ingredients (2 challah breads)
- For the dough
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (I used Red Star Yeast Platinum for this recipe)
- 1 cup warm water (no more than 110°F [43°C])
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour, or 5 1/2 to 6 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup peanut, corn, or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or whatever type you prefer)
- To sprinkle on top:
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp sugar
- whisk it together and brush on bread prior to baking
In a mixer, with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water and yeast. Mix until blended. Add the sugar and mix about a minute. Slowly mix in 1 cup of the flour until combined.
Mix in the eggs one at a time until they are combined. Add another 2 cups of the flour, oil, and salt. Mix together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 4 cups) and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour. Mix on low speed for 12 minutes until dough is incorporated. Be sure to give your mixer a break and as you don’t want to burn it out. Add flour if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but also firm.
Take dough out of mixer bowl, knead in the chocolate chips.
Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).
Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, and allow it to rest with plastic wrap on it for 5-10 minutes.
Roll each dough ball into long piece .Braid 3 strands together to form a loaf. Repeat with the other 3 strands. Cover and let rise in a draft free place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
When ready to bake, brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake the challah for 35-40 minutes. The bread should be golden brown. Ovens may vary so check your challah at about 30 minutes and see how it’s doing. You test if it’s done by tapping the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it needs a bit more time.* Be careful to not burn your fingers like I did when you do that test. Let it cool and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.