Monday, May 3, 2010

Chocolate Bread

The ski season is coming to an end, which means that everybody has to come up one more time to take advantage of the recent snowfalls. Of course this doesn't only mean skiing, it also means crowds for dinner and house guests, and it means that even if I make cheese fondue I like to have a dessert in my back pocket, for the off chance that people are still hungry. The chocolate bread that David Lebovitz posted last week looked yummy and fit the bill - ready to just be eaten by the slice, or whipped up into a quick bread pudding, or for French toast for breakfast.

I followed the recipe almost to a T, with the exception that I used some chopped white chocolate after I ran out of bittersweet, and that I retired the bread in the fridge overnight for a delayed fermentation. The dough looked wonderful:

DL is ambivalent about the nuts, so since I like nuts I put in walnuts and pistachios.

After the night in the fridge I put the dough in a slightly warmed oven, and it rose nicely. It also rose nicely in the pan and had a little bit of oven spring left. Baking happened at 6000' which is a bit of a challenge, but there was no catastrophes. I baked the bread to 180 F internal temperature - it took about 5 minutes longer than DL advises.

The house smells great when you bake this, I could barely wait for the bread to cool down to cut it open. 

The flavor of the bread is great, and I'm glad I put the nuts in. It was definitely the best on the first day, and didn't improve over the next days. But it's wonderful with a little bit of salted butter on it, as a little after dinner bit of sweets with a cup of coffee. 

The structure is more cakey than bready, fairly fragile. I wonder whether it's because I baked at altitude, and will definitely try it again once I'm back down the hill. 

This morning one - by now quite stale - slice got turned into French toast. I used part milk part coffee for the egg milk, and I let the bread sit in the egg milk for 15 minutes on each side for a super custardy result, bringing out the taste of the fresh chocolate bread nicely.

I might make another experiment tomorrow where I fill it with banana, though I'm not sure it'll be stable enough to be sliced any thinner.

As I was eating it it occurred to me that French toast was probably one of the first dishes I made when I was a kid. The literal translation of the German name for it is Poor Knights. It's made with white bread, and dusted with cinnamon sugar, for a quick cheap tasty lunch.


  1. Silke, so happy you posted this bread! French toast sounds divine. You have me thinking about bread pudding, too...

  2. I regularly click on to DL's blog and was tempted when I saw this recipe! Yours looks great, nice to know it tastes good too! Jeannette.

  3. I think it'll make fantastic bread pudding. You should both try it, and let me know whether it's just me with the fragile consistence...