Pane Al Cioccolato

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My lovely friend Patrick mailed me some fantastic chocolate to bake with as an early birthday gift.

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E. Guittard Bittersweet Dark Chocolate and Sharffen Berger Unsweetened Dark Chocolate. I decided to make bread using the bittersweet chocolate.

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I followed the Pane Al Cioccolato recipe in Bread by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter.

Pane Al Cioccolato

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.

Cream 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 into your desired shape and place into the desired cookware. (I shaped into a round and placed in a lightly greased Pyrex bowl to bake.)
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.)

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I substituted a mid-sized Pyrex mixing bowl for the bakeware, hence the odd shape. This bread is fabulous served with mascarpone or cream cheese, it also fares quite well alone.

Sourdough Bread

At last.