Archive | March, 2014

No Knead Chocolate Bread

13 Mar


Currently…I’ve got chocolate in the corners of my mouth. Chocolate on my keyboard. I’m picking crumbs off the front of my shirt. Oh nice – there’s a butter stain.

I’m definitely not the most lady-like individual. I don’t wear heels, I don’t know what to do past applying mascara and I most certainly don’t know how to apply nail polish…not that I have the nails for it anyway.

Am I jealous of those proper ladies? Maybe a little. The jealousy doesn’t last very long though…because stuffing my face with warm, buttered chocolate bread and not worrying about what’s getting smudged or stained is a pretty sweet experience. No pun intended.


This recipe is a favourite of mine, created by the king of no knead bread, Jim Lahey. It truly suited my mood, which lately, has been one of those “I want to make something but I don’t want to actually do any work” moods. Could it be lack of inspiration? Could it be the recent food poisoning attack I recently suffered while in Dallas, Texas? Could it be the fact that the very thought of food reminds me of projectile vomiting at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game? Perhaps the fact that I am still trying to digest the pound of barbecued beef rib I ate in one sitting? Probably a mix of everything.

The method for this bread is simple. It is time consuming but requires nothing but planning ahead. Mix ingredients together…let rest for 12-18 hours..


Form a cute little dough ball…


Rise some more…


Bake in a dutch oven at a high temperature…


Boom. Chocolate and bread. Together at last. Butter that sucker up.

Just a note here for the recipe. The original calls for chopped bittersweet chocolate. All I had were mini chocolate chips and an “I don’t care attitude.” If I were you I would stick with the chopped chocolate. The mini chips seemed to cause the bottom to burn a bit because there were so many. Lesson learned.

Chocolate Bread (from the book
My Bread)
makes one 8″ round loaf

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups cool water

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, the chocolate, salt, and yeast.
Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds.

Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is puffy and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12-18 hours

When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with bran or flour.
Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece.
Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center.

Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round. Place a tea towel on your work surface, generously dust it with wheat bran or flour.

Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. Lightly sprinkle with more flour.

Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 2-3 hours.

The dough is ready when it is almost doubled and feels like a water balloon.
If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third, and place a covered 4 1/2 – to 5 1/2 -quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.

Lay your ball of chocolate goodness onto a piece of parchment paper, big enough to fit into the pot.

Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly place the parchment parcel into the oven.
Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 10-15 more minutes.

Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.