Chocolate Bread

Last month when I was rolling out bread dough to make hot cross buns for Easter, I started thinking about creating a new recipe for chocolate bread. The following recipe is very simple, especially if you have a bread machine. 

I experimented with two different ways to shape the dough.  The chocolate layer method results in a roll that contains a thick layer of melted chocolate (as pictured below).   

The second version is more like a cinnamon roll where the chocolate is evenly distributed throughout the interior of the roll.  Both are very good.  

The secret to making an extremely delicious sweet roll is to be gentle when shaping the dough and use a lot of butter in the filling.  The butter should be soft and easy to spread. 

RECIPE #13 (from 10 Pounds of Chocolate Chips)  

Chocolate Bread Dough
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup water, luke warm
1/2 cup milk, luke warm
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter (soft enough to spread but not melted)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk
powdered sugar

Making the Dough:

In a bread machine set on basic dough setting, place flour, cocoa, sugar and salt.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the yeast.  Pour the water, milk, egg and butter around the base of the flour mixture.

As the machine begins to mix, watch the dough for consistency.  It should be a very soft dough, but not sticky.  Add additional flour, one spoonful at a time, if necessary.

After the dough has risen, remove from the bread machine and shape.

Shaping the Dough:

Chocolate Layer Method

In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa. 

Roll dough into a large rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.  Using the top of a drinking glass cut the dough into circles (3 1/4 inch circles is a good size)  In the middle of the circle place a slice of butter, about 1 teaspoon of the cocoa/sugar mix and a sprinkle of chocolate chips (about 14 chips).  Pinch the dough to trap the ingredients and form a ball.  Be gentle, do not overwork the dough. 

Place the ball onto a 12x12 inch baking pan.  The recipe will make 16 rolls.  

Let the rolls rise for 1 hour and then bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Spread the glaze on top while the rolls are warm.

Cinnamon Roll Style Method

Roll dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.

Prepare the filling.  In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 Tablespoon cocoa.  

Spread the softened butter (1/2 cup) onto the rectangle of dough.  The butter should be very thick and cover the entire rectangle.  Sprinkle the sugar cocoa mixture on top of the butter.  Scatter 3/4 cup of chocolate chips over the top of the dough.

Carefully roll the rectangle keeping the chocolate chips in the middle.  Pinch the edges to seal the log.  Cut the log into 16 individual slices.  The slices can be placed on a baking tray (like cinnamon rolls) or

If you prefer to make round rolls then after cutting the dough into 16 pieces, pinch each end of each individual piece to seal in the sugar and form a ball.  Makes 16 rolls.

Let the rolls rise for about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Spread the sugar glaze over the top of the rolls while they are still hot.

Preparing the Glaze:

In a small bowl mix 1 Tablespoon softened butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1 Tablespoon milk.  Slowly add some powdered sugar until the glaze is thick but still easy to spread.

The rolls are best served warm.  They can also be frozen and warmed in a microwave oven for a few seconds before serving.