This bread is not only beautiful but tastes really good. Mine has been able to stay soft for 2 days because as soon as I took it out of the oven, I wrapped it in a clean tea towel to cool on the cooling rack for 2 hours before slicing it. The tea towel enabled the steam to keep the bread nice and moist.
I also tried making Nutella bread but the marble effect is nowhere near what you get with this recipe. You can make the chocolate sheet in advance and freeze until you want to make the bread. I think the chocolate sheet can be kept at least for a week in the freezer. I haven’t tried keeping it longer than a week but I don’t see why it can’t be kept longer in the freezer.
The following recipe makes a 9 x 5 inch loaf,
Chocolate Sheet (needs to be placed in the freezer for at least an hour before using)
Ingredients for the chocolate sheet
- 50 grams of good quality dark chocolate (or any types of chocolate as you like)
- 20 grams of unsalted butter
- 8 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
- 20 grams of all purpose flour
- 5 grams of cornstarch
- 60 grams of milk
- 20 grams of sugar
- 1 large egg white
Method for making the chocolate sheet
- Place your chocolate in a glass bowl and over a pot of water (i.e. Bain Marie). Turn on the heat to low and let the chocolate melt. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Once melted, set aside.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, corn starch and cocoa powder. Add the sugar and milk. Using a large whisk to combine all the ingredients ensuring there are no lumps.
- Add the egg white to the mixture and continue to use the whisk to combine the ingredients. Add the melted butter and chocolate to mixture and whisk together.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and using low heat, keep whisking the mixture for 4-5 minutes. The mixture should be quite thick by now. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 3-5 minutes.
- Lay a large piece of cling wrap onto your work surface. Place the mixture on the cling wrap. Place another sheet of cling wrap on top of the mixture. Roll out the mixture to 18cm x18 cm. Wrap the mixture with cling wrap and place in freezer for at least an hour before using it to make the bread.
Ingredients for the bread
- 220 grams of bread flour
- 3 grams of instant yeast
- 3 grams of salt
- 20 grams of sugar
- 120 grams of milk
- 25 grams of starter
- 25 grams if softened butter
- Method for making the bread
- Warm the milk to around 35 C. Add the yeast to the warm milk with the sugar and let it sit at room temperature for around 10 minutes until you see foam on top of the milk (meaning the yeast is activated)
- Place all the ingredients (except the butter) into your standing mixer with the dough hook attached. Turn on the mixer at low speed and gradually at the milk (which should be added within 2 minutes). Once all the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer to medium speed and let it knead the dough for 12-15 minutes.
- After 12 minutes, stretch a small piece of the dough to do the window pane test. If you can see a thin membrane (which is the gluten), you can add the butter and turn on the mixer to low speed and continue to knead the dough until the butter is incorporated. The dough should be smooth and quite elastic.
- Take out the dough and form a ball. Put the down back in your mixer bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it rise until doubled (mine took 70minutes).
- Once the dough has doubled, take it out from the bowl and place it on a floured surface, Punch down the dough to remove the air. Roll the dough out to a 18 cm x 36 cm rectangle.
- Take out the chocolate sheet from the freezer and carefully remove the cling wrap and place the chocolate sheet in the middle of the dough.
- First Fold. Bring the short side of the dough to the middle and seal the all corners of the dough so that the chocolate sheet is like a letter folded inside an envelope. Roll out the dough to 18cm x 40cm. Bring the short side of the dough to the middle for the second fold.
- Second Fold. Carefully lift the dough to make sure it’s not stuck to the surface. Sprinkle the work surface with more flour. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough lengthwise to form 18cm x 40cm. Bring the short side of the dough to the middle. Fold in the same way as the previous fold. Place the dough in a plastic bag and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Final Stretch and Shaping. Sprinkle the work surface with flour and take the dough out from the freezer. Roll out to 20cm x 25 cm and braid the dough.
- Place the braided dough in a 9 x5 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 45minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. After 45 minutes, brush the bread with egg wash.
- Bake the bread at 180C for 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 30minutes. Slice and serve.
The videos below should better illustrate how I folded the dough.