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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

something you don't need to know about but should

Warning: contained below is information that may make you want to come over and ring my neck. Proceed with caution.

(Emilie and Angela... this one is for you. Em, because you love to bake bread and Ange, well you know... you're the only one I know who loves chocolate as much as I do.)

Below is a recipe for Pane al Cioccolato... chocolate bread. Need I say more? You have to try it.

3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 packet yeast (1 1/2 tsp.) or 1/2 ounce fresh yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
melted butter, for brushing

1. Lightly grease a 6" deep cake pan. (If you want to make it artisan, or free form, use a baking sheet or stone and cook for 10 min. less.) Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the center.

2. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 4 tablespoons of the water, then stir in the rest. Add to the center of the flour mixture and gradually mix to a dough.

3. Knead in the softened butter, then knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise, in a warm place, for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Gently knead in the chocolate (this is where I sample the chocolate to make sure it is of excellent quality), then cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap; let rest for 5 minutes.

5. Shape the dough into a round and place it in the pan (or shape it into a large round and place it on a baking sheet or preheated stone.) Cover with your trusty lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it rise, in a warm place, for 45 minutes or until doubled; the dough should reach the top of the pan.

6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (but maybe you should have done this during the last rise...) Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remember to decrease the baking time by about 10 minutes if free form. Brush the top with melted butter (as if the chocolate in it wasn't enough!) and let cool on wire rack.

Ah... sigh. You won't regret making this unbelievably scrumptious bread. You'll just regret when it is gone. Chocolate dough with bits of melted chocolate inside but you can eat it for a meal, rather than dessert? I mean, someone was firing on all cylinders when they thought this one up.

Okay, time for me to go eat some chocolate.


Angela said...

OK, I am unbelievably excited to try this later. What time should I arrive so that it's still warm and melty?

Second, can you really call it bread when you cook it in a cake pan????? Either way, no points right? Right?

Emilie said...

i know, really. i love how you dedicate this recipe to your ww friends. (but i'm so baking it very soon)

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