Chocolate Prune Bread

Chocolate Prune Bread
This month’s Bread Baking Babes bread was the drop that made my waistline overflow, I had managed to keep some kind of discipline over the holidays but this bread was just too much or rather, too good! My friend Jamie from Life’s a Feast (though don’t know if she really is a true friend or if she is trying to make me the perfect friend, i.e. flabby with chocolate stains all over) is the one who decided what to bake this month and she choose a Chocolate Prune Bread from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, a no-knead sweet bread with a filling. I’m not a fan of no-knead breads in general but I was pleasantly surprised by this one, it is not only easy to make but it also had a nice airy texture despite my attempts to not only make a no-knead bread but also a no-rise bread by forgetting to let it rise that second, important time. There is a lot of dough and I suggest that you freeze half of it to avoid your waist to flow over like mine (unless you have a lot of hungry teenagers around) and because chocolate breads have a tendency to get dry pretty quick. I made one bread with prunes, that is the pull apart bread on top and the round one I filled with sugar and cinnamon.

If you want to make this bread with us and be a Bread Baking Buddy, click over to Jamie at Life’s a Feast to get all the details. But before you do that, check out if and how the other Babes baked their Chocolate Prune Bread:

Bake My Day – Karen
Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Elle
girlichef – Heather
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien

Chocolate Prune Bread-3

CHOCOLATE BREAD DOUGH RECIPE (Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread)

from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (revised & updated edition) by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François
Makes two 2-pound loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved.

2 ½ cups (565 ml) lukewarm water (100°F or below)
¾ cup (170 ml) vegetable oil
1 Tbs (0.35 oz / 10 g) granulated yeast
1 to 1 ½ Tbs (17 to 25 g) kosher salt   use less if using fine table salt, more if using coarse salt
1 cup (7 ounces / 200 g) sugar
5 ½ cups (1 pound, 11 ½ ounces / 780 g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (3 ounces / 85 g) dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups (6 ounces / 170 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips   optional (for the chocolate prune bread you will be adding chocolate, the amount changes depending upon whether or not you added chocolate chips to the dough at this point)

Mixing and storing the dough:Mix the oil, yeast, salt and sugar with the water in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and the chocolate chips without kneading, using a spoon or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). If you are not using the machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle with cold. Refrigerate the container of dough and use over the next 5 days. Beyond the 5 days, freeze the dough in 1-pound (about 450 g) portions in airtight containers for up to 4 weeks. When using frozen dough, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using, then allow the usual rest and rise time.

 

Chocolate Prune Bread:
Makes one 1 ½ pound loaf

1 ½ pounds (about 680 g – the size of a small cantaloupe) of the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread dough Softened unsalted butter for greasing the pan
2 ounces (55 g) high-quality bittersweet chocolate – * use 6 ounces (170 g) if you did not add chocolate chips to the original Chocolate Bread Dough
¾ cup chopped pitted prunes
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs water)
¼ cup (50 g) sugar for sprinkling over the top of the bread and preparing the pan

On baking day, generously grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½ – inch (22 x 11 ½ cm approx) nonstick loaf pan with butter, sprinkle some sugar evenly over the butter and shake the pan to distribute.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 ½ pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a ½ – inch-thick (scant 1 ½ cm) rectangle. As you roll out the dough, use enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the work surface but not so much as to make the dough dry.

Sprinkle the chocolate and chopped prunes over the dough and roll up the dough jelly-roll style to enclose them. Fold the dough over itself several times, turning and pressing it down with the heel of your hand after each turn. This will work the chocolate and prunes into the dough; some may poke through.

With very wet hands, form the dough into a loaf shape and place it into the prepared pan. Allow to rest and rise for 90 minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). A baking stone is not required and omitting it shortens the preheat.

Using a pastry brush, paint the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes until firm. Smaller or larger loaves with require adjustments to baking time.

Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.

 

L