Certain cravings must be fulfilled. Sleep is a good example. We all need it, our bodies crave it. Peanut butter is a similar craving for me. But freshly-baked bread is a universal craving – if you don’t get it, then you’re not human. Crispy, chewy, doughy, satisfying bread is irresistible. I stumbled upon an unique recipe for Chocolate Bread at the Village Vegan. I made quite a few changes, including using wheat gluten to help the wheat flour rise and to increase the protein content. The end result isn’t quite a muffin and isn’t quite regular bread. It has a slight wheat/nutty flavor but a distinct taste of cocoa with bursts of melted chocolate. I recommend it toasted and spread with peanut butter.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2t wheat gluten
1/8t instant yeast
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2T wheat gluten
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2t yeast
1 1/4t salt
1 cup (scant) warm water
1T canola oil
4oz dark chocolate, chopped (70% or higher percent cocoa)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries, diced
Skim or soymilk
1. Mix the starter ingredients together in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for 6 hours.
2. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Put the starter and the first six dough ingredients in a large bowl. Add the yeast water and knead in the bowl or on a floured surface. Knead the canola oil into the bread and knead for about 15 minutes. Knead the chocolate chunks and any dried fruit into the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for about 3 hours, or until double in size.
3. Shape the bread, either put in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet to make a loaf. I cut it into small pieces, rolled into balls and placed on a baking sheet. Let the dough rise for another 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. If refrigerating, let the bread sit out at room temperature while the oven is heating.
4. Preheat oven to 375. Brush the dough with milk or soymilk and sprinkle raw sugar on top. Place bread in the oven and reduce temperature to 350. Bake for 40-45 minutes for a loaf, I only baked it about 30 minutes for rolls. Let cool completely on a cooling rack. Store for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.
They came out a tiny bit dry, but the melted chocolate really adds a nice creaminess and burst of sweetness. I would recommend trying 2T canola oil.