Well, hello gorgeous bread! Say good morning to one of the fluffiest breads I’ve EVER baked!
This was a big bread baking job. Not big in the sense that it was impossible. It was big in the sense that the recipe has many steps. I had to keep referring to the recipe and make sure I was on the right line and that I didn’t skip a step. It takes focus and an immense desire.
Set aside some good baking time to conquer this recipe.
I had to make sure I didn’t skip a step or do a step before it was supposed to be done. It had to be done perfectly and not in a rush. I also tried to wash my hands between steps to try to document some of the baking steps. The preparation photos are messy and full of flour, but you can see how it was really like putting this delicious bread together. Sometimes it’s a big sticky mess!
If you like butter and you like bread and you like fluffy, buttery breads…you have to try this recipe!
My super fabulous friend Lisa Parsley, Sage, Desserts & Line Drives is hosting this month’s Bread Baking Day, a challenge created by Zorra of 1x Umruhren Bitten, that I participated in at Christmas time with my Pandolce Genovese. BBD #47 is all about Bread & Chocolate. I was dreaming of chocolate brioche that Zio Antonio makes in Aosta at his pastry shops. My first idea was to bake a sweet cream Italian chocolate loaf. I wasn’t satisfied with the recipe and need to tweak it a little. Next on my list of what to bake was this Marbled Chocolate Brioche Loaf in Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker. I’ve been wanting to bake this bread for quite a while.
The work put into this bread reminds me of the cinnamon pull apart bread I made. Man, that was another amazing bread and now I want to make it again! Nick Malgieri has you put this together using a food processor. I have to admit, this was a first for me. It’s messy and it sort of gets complicated dealing with an extremely sharp blade covered with a sticky dough. But hey, no injuries and my food processor still works like a charm! I prefer to mix dough in my Kitchenaid mixer. Don’t rush while making the dough and just watch your fingers when you’re dealing with the blade.
The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri (C) 2008
1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoon (1 envelope) rapid rise dry yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons unsalted cold butter
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest
1 tablespoon light rum (or dark rum)
40 g (1 1/2 oz) dark chocolate (I used 4 tbsp of dark chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon room temperature butter to spread on the loaf
Special equipment: A food processor
1. Prepare a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan by greasing it generously with butter and lining the bottom of the pan with either parchment paper or wax paper.
2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm (about 110˚F). In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast and lukewarm milk. With a large spatula (or spoon), stir in 1 cup of the all-purpose flour (you’ll have 1 1/2 cups of flour left) . You will have a very sticky ball. Scrape whatever dough is left off of your spoon or spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 20 minutes. This mixture will become a little bubbly and rise just a bit.
3. After the 20 minutes of waiting for the flour mixture to rise, cut the butter into 1/2 inch chunks and place it in the food processor bowl with the sugar, salt, egg, egg yolk, lemon (or orange zest) and rum. Pulse about 5-7 times, or until the butter has been processed into the liquid. The mixture may look a bit separated-not a problem-it will come together when you add the flour).
4. With a spatula, scrape out the sticky dough to the wet ingredients in the food processor and pulse until the liquid is incorporated into the dough. Dump in the remaining 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour to the bowl and process until you get a smooth mixture; about 8-10 times. Leave the lid of processor on and let this dough rest for 10 minutes.
5. While it’s resting, place the chocolate in a medium bowl and place on top of a sauce pan with simmer water. Stir until melted. (If you prefer to melt the chocolate in a microwave, go ahead. I don’t own a microwave.) Set the chocolate aside to cool.
6. After 10 minutes, pulse the dough in the processor 10 times and then dump the dough onto a floured surface. Fold and gently knead the dough 5 or 6 times, adding pinches of flour if needed, to get an elastic dough. Give your chocolate a stir.
The Chocolate Part:.
8. Add baking soda, cinnamon, and water to the melted chocolate and stir to incorporate. Spoon out the chocolate mixture into the food processor bowl and pulse it together with the one piece of dough that was already in it about 3-4 times to incorporated. Add the 3 tablespoons of flour and pulse until it is smooth.
10. On a floured cutting board, press the chocolate dough into a 7” square. Uncover the other two doughs and press those into 7” squares as well. Make a sandwich with the doughs placing the chocolate dough in between the two white doughs.
11. Cut the dough sandwich into three even pieces (the stacking doesn’t have to be precise. some of my chocolate middle was sticking out and that’s ok).
12. Cut 1/3 of the dough into 1/2 inch strips. Repeat with the other strips of dough.
13. Carefully scoop up the dough and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of water over the dough strips and gently toss the dough together like you’re mixing a salad. Once the dough is moist and slightly sticky, gather the dough up and press and squeeze the dough into a solid ball. This is the part where you have to be careful. It is one big sticky mess. *Here is where I added a few pinches of flour to the dough so I could make it into a nice ball of dough. It doesn’t matter where the chocolate is ending up while you form this ball of dough. You just don’t want it to be sticky and you don’t want to form it for too long. Then flat the ball into a thick 4 x 8 inch rectangle. Place in the prepared loaf pan and gently press down to fill the pan completely. Cover with buttered plastic wrap.
14. Gently form the ball on top of a floured surface into 4 x 8 inch rectangle. Place in the prepared loaf pan and gently press down to fill the pan completely. Gently pat a little softened butter on top of the loaf. Spray plastic wrap with non-stick spray and place on top of the loaf.
16. Holy DOUGH! Look how this rose! Let the dough rise for about 2 hours, or until the loaf has risen about an inch above the loaf pan. This is what my dough looked like at exactly 2 hours. About 15 minutes before the loaf is completely risen preheat the oven to 350˚F.
17. Bake the loaf in the preheated oven until the top of the loaf is deep golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then unmold while still warm, and put on a cooling rack sideways so it doesn’t become a hard bread.
Enjoy with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Happy baking!:)