I must be honest, I hate baking bread; yeast and I are mortal enemies. Yeast is so
high maintenance and usually requires a lot more time than I am willing to give - the rising, the kneading, the rising.
I am determined to overcome this area of baking because the ends do justify the means (usually) and this recipe so far has not let me down.
Although it does require an overnight (8hr) rising, so just plan ahead.
- 1/3 cup milk (80 - 100 degrees F)
- 3 T (54 g) sugar
- 1 T (12 g) active dry yeast
- 3 cups (200 g) flour, divided in half
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup chopped, high-quality, semi-sweet chocolate like Guittard, chopped into irregular but small pieces
- 1 egg + 1 T water (egg wash)
Equipment: Dough mixer attachment and 9x5 loaf pan
Combine milk, yeast and sugar in mixing bowl and gently give it a stir and let sit for 10 minutes
Mix (using paddle attachment) in half flour (1.5 cups) and all of eggs until smooth (2-3 minutes)
Let stand for 30-45 minutes to ferment - you will see small bubbles at edge of mixture.
Switch to your mixers dough hook an add rest of flour and salt until dough pulls away from bowl and has an electric texture (8-10 min)
Run mixture at medium speed and add 1 T of butter at a time - let each pat of butter fully mix in before adding the next.
Spray large bowl with baking Pam or something similar, add dough, cover (sprayed plastic wrap or other covering) and let rise in warm draft-free place for 1.5 - 2.5 hours. Will double in size.
Take risen dough and turn out onto lightly floured surface, fold a few times, then return to greased bowl, cover and refrigerate from 8 - 16 hours.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F and grease loaf pan.
Take dough and turn out again on lightly floured surface, knead in chocolate until just incorporated.
Form dough into loaf (see steps below) and place seam side down.
Cover and let dough rise for 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush loaf with egg was and bake 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until internal temperature of loaf registers 190 degrees F