This decadent bread should be made with high quality dark chocolate. Serve warm slices with mascarpone cheese for an absolutely heavenly treat.
Pane Al Cioccolato
Adapted from Bread by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter
3 C unbleached white bread flour
1 1/2 tbl cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbl caster sugar
1 envelope yeast
1 C lukewarm water
2 tbl butter--softened
3 oz high quality chocolate--coarsely chopped
Melted butter for brushing
Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Stir in the sugar.
Make a well in the center.
Mix the envelope of yeast with 4 tbl of the lukewarm water.
Allow to sit for about 10 min. or until frothy.
Add this mixture and the remaining water to the well and gradually mix into a dough.
Knead in the butter and transfer to a lightly floured surface to knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 min.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clear film.
Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hr).
Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and gently deflate.
Gently knead in the chocolate.
Cover again with film and leave to rest about 5 minutes.
Shape and place into the desired cookware.
(I shaped into a round and placed in a lightly greased Pyrex bowl to
Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 45 min).
Bake in a preheated oven at 425F for 10 min.
Reduce temperature to 375F and bake for about 30 min.
After baking, brush the top with melted butter and cool on a wire rack.
(If you choose to make two small loaves with this recipe instead of one, be aware that the baking time should be reduced about 10 min. Watch carefully.)