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I was thinking about Purim, and while I love giving real food for mishloach manot, I like to keep it fun too. And then we discovered...
Chocolate Bread (whole wheat variation)
Note: traditional Italian chocolate bread is made with a sourdough starter. This recipe is for those of us who don’t keep sourdough starter on hand.
This recipe makes 6 mini-loaves or 3 regular size loaves.
3 ¼ cups warm water
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp dry yeast
9 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup oil + more for coating the bowl
½ bar dark chocolate, crushed with a hammer or the end of a wooden rolling pin
Mix together the first three ingredients, and allow the yeast to proof for about 10 minutes. (I know, lots of people say you don’t have to do this, but I always proof my yeast, that way I’m sure it is alive!)
Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa) in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Pour the oil and the yeast mixture into the well, and then combine everything. You can start with a wooden spoon, but eventually you will need to use your hands (unless of course, you have a powerful enough mixer to handle bread dough). Knead dough for about 10 min. Coat the dough with oil and cover with a tea towel to rise.
Allow to rise until doubled in size. After it has risen, punch down the dough, and sprinkle chocolate bits evenly over the dough. Use a knife to cut the dough into 6 approximately equal pieces, if making mini loaves (3 pieces if making regular size loaves). Work the chocolate into each piece of dough, shape into circles and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (you may need two, I did). Cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise for another half hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
When your loaves have risen, bake for about 30 minutes. Watch them! Chocolate burns quickly if left in too long.
Allow to cool before slicing.
Tastes great with butter. Or hazelnut spread.
It’s actually pretty addictive. Don’t get me started...
Let me know if you try this!