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dark chocolate cherry bread
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Dark Chocolate Yeast Bread

Dark Chocolate Cherry Bread
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
Author Cookie Madness

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 packet 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract or espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder I used natural
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 7.5 oz -- weigh it out
  • ½ teaspoon plus a tiny pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together using 50% power. Set aside to cool.
  • Put the warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Add the honey, molasses, espresso powder (or coffee extract), vanilla and cocoa powder. Add 2/3 cup (3 oz) of the flour and stir well. This is your sponge. Set that aside for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, stir in the melted chocolate/butter mixture, salt and the remaining 1 cup of flour. Mix well, attach the dough hook and let the machine mix the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Add in the cherries and chocolate chips.
  • Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and let rise for 80 minutes. It will not double in size. You may hardly notice that it’s risen.
  • Punch down the dough and either shape it into a round or shape it into a log and fit it into an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
  • Let rise for another 80 minutes. Again, it won’t rise much until it actually goes in the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted reads 205 degrees. Let cool completely.

Notes

This recipe is adapted from Letty Halloran Flatt's version in her book Chocolate Snowball. I scaled the recipe down from 3 loaves to 1 and used a loaf pan instead of making rounds. I also added dried cherries and swapped espresso powder for coffee extract. Because this loaf was so good I made a second loaf using fast rising yeast and swapping the water out for warm coffee. The loaf made with the coffee was dense and heavy. UPDATE: Made a third and a fourth loaf with fast rising yeast and it worked perfectly! Instead of proofing the yeast, just put 1 packet of Rapid Rise or Platinum (both work) in with the flour. Make sure the water is around 120 degrees F.