This month's We Should Cocoa almost brought a tear to my eye - a joyful tear, for what better combination could there be than bread and chocolate? Bread AND chocolate!
No sooner had I read Nazima's post on Chocolate, Cardamom, Walnut Kranz than I began dreaming of a decadent and light chocolate-y bread for our Thanksgiving breakfast coffee. Leave it to Martha Stewart to come out with her holiday magazine just in time for me to find a Chocolate Kugelhopf bread that fit the bill ... so here we sit on Thanksgiving morning, a cup of coffee and a beautiful slice of bread and chocolate and golden sultanas, warm and sweet and comforting. I must remember to save room for the turkey and dressing and vegetables! Happy Thanksgiving!
This sweet bread is a cinch to make. There is so much butter in the dough that kneading and shaping is really expedited by the smoothness that the butter gives the dough. Two suggestions that I have for making the dough and insuring a good rise is to increase the yeast measure by a quarter of a teaspoon (eggs make for a slower rise and sometimes a heavier bread) and letting the initial cup and a half of flour, yeast, and milk mixture proof for about ten minutes before adding the rest of the flour and mixing the dough to its final consistency. The dough I made was soft and squishy and rose like a champ.
When I rolled out the dough to shape the 'chocolate/sultana roll', I found that the cut spirals were easy to shape and pat into firm spirals that held the sugar, sultanas and chocolate chunks. Don't be afraid to get a little rough with the spirals when tucking them into place in the tube pan. They puff right back up beautifully.
The final baked bread is just sooo pretty! Perhaps you might make this beautiful bread for your Christmas or New Years breakfast ... if not sooner! Enjoy!
Martha Stewart's Chocolate Kugelhopf
½ c. 2 % milk
1 ½ sticks butter ( ¾ c.), cut into chunks
½ c. sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
4 ½ c. all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast granules
3 large eggs plus one large egg yolk
⅓ c. light brown sugar, firmly packed1 c. golden sultana raisins
6 ounces, bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (leave plenty of chunks about the size of your ‘pinky’ fingernail)
3 tbsp. melted butter
Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling over the baked and cooled bread
Making the Kugelhopf:
- Place the half &half and milk in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling – a foam will form around the edge of the pot.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt and melt the butter.
- Cool the mixture in a mixing bowl to 109° F and then add 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. Stir vigorously to make a sticky and stringy mix. Add the eggs, one at a time and the egg yolk, beating until it's thick and golden. Set the bowl aside for ten to fifteen minutes to let the yeast begin its work.
- Add the rest of the flour ½ cup at a time and mix to make a soft, smooth, sticky dough.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes, adding only 1 tbsp. of flour at a time to keep the dough moving around the surface without too much sticking.
- Place the kneaded dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel.
- Place the dough in a warm, draft-free place for a little over an hour, until the dough has doubled.
- While the dough rises, make the filling by combining the raisins, brown sugar, and chopped chocolate in a bowl. Melt the butter in a small dish and set it by your work surface.
- When the dough has risen, turn it onto a large clean work surface that you have very lightly floured.
- Press the dough with your hands or a rolling pin into a large rectangle (14 x 22 inches).
- Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle on the raisin/chocolate filling to within 1 inch of all the edges.
- Roll the dough up jelly-roll fashion to make a long spiral. Press the spiral to snug all the rolled layers together and seal the spiral closed. Push the rounded ends back toward the center to make squared-off ends.
- Using a serrated bread knife, cut the long spiral into 12 sections.
- Generously butter a 10-inch tube pan. Place six of the spirals around the outer edges of the pan so that the exposed spirals of chocolate and raisins sit against the edges of the pan.
- Place the remaining six spirals, cut sides together around the inside tube of the pan.
- Cover with a damp towel and let the kugelhopf rise for 1 ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Place the kugelhopf in the pre-heated oven and immediately lower the heat to 350° F. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes clean when inserted halfway between the tube center and the outer edge. If the top browns fast. Place a piece of foil over top to guard it a bit.
- Cool the kugelhopf for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn the bread out and cool on a rack for one hour.
- Place the cooled bread on a pretty platter and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top.
- Serve in thick slices with hot coffee or tea. The bread can be toasted and buttered, but it stands alone really well when warmed slightly. To toast this bread, place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and run it under a broiler just until it crisps … watch it closely.