Chocolate Twist Bread

This really isn’t the bread making time of year but since I am a teacher and off in the summers, I make bread. This is my version of a chocolate twist bread. I haven’t quite perfected the shape yet but the taste is a-maz-ing! I have filled the bread with chocolate, almonds and cinnamon. The almonds are completely optional. My son is not allergic to almonds, just peanuts so when I can source peanut free almonds, I like baking with them. If you don’t bake with any nuts, then add more chocolate. Yes, more chocolate! Nothing wrong with that! You can also jazz it up with different flavours like orange, coconut, cardamon, cherries, etc.

Chocolate Twist Bread

In a small bowl, mix together and let the yeast activate:

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp yeast

In a small saucepan, combine and warm until the butter is just melted:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (equal to 2 eggs)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

After the yeast is activated and the milk mixture is at room temperature, combine in a stand mixer and add in flour, starting with 3 cups first:

  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups all purpose flour

Once you have added in and mixed the 3 cups, slowly add in the remaining flour until a soft and slightly sticky dough is formed. When it is throughly kneaded, dust with flour and let raise for 1 hour or until double in size.

After the first raise, roll out until 15 by 15 inch square. Cut in half so you have two 15 by 7.5 inch pieces to fill, cut and roll separately.

In food processor, combine and pulse until a few chunks remain:

  • 3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup almonds (optional)

Divide filling between the two pieces of rolled out dough and then roll up each separately. Cut each roll down the middle and twist the 2 pieces together. Some of the filling will fall out but you can just sprinkle it on top after you get it on the pan. I recommend rolling and twisting on the parchment paper you will bake on to make the transfer easier. You will end up with 2 double twisted loaves.

Let raise for another 30 minutes until proofed. At this point, it will look like this:

Brush with cream before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes on a large parchment lined cookie sheet.

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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This is a delicious sweet bread that usually contains eggs. In this bread I use flaxseed and plain yogurt as the egg replacement to help keep the dough nice and soft. I also use honey in the bread itself. This was my first attempt at a swirl bread but I have made other types of bread before. There is a bit of extra work involved but you are rewarded with a pretty design when you slice the loaf.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

In a small pot, heat together until the butter is just melted:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter

Let the milk mixture cool until lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl combine:

  • 2 tbsp yeast and 1/2 cup warm water

Let the yeast activate for 15 minutes until nice and foamy.

When the milk mixture is cooled down and the yeast and water are activated, pour the milk mixture into the large mixing bowl with the yeast and water.

Add in:

  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix with a dough hook in a stand mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon. Slowly add in up to:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour

You want to dough to be soft and slightly sticky but not so sticky you cannot handle it. Mix for several minutes to activate the gluten or knead by hand for several minutes. Once you have a nice dough, coat in vegetable oil or dust lightly with flour and return to the large mixing bowl to rise. Cover the bowl.

Leave the dough to rise for 1 to 2 hours depending on the humidity, until twice the size.

On a clean surface, sprinkle some flour and roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Try to keep the width only as long as the loaf pan you are going to bake the loaf in. You will end up with a fairly long, narrow rectangle. Mine ended up a bit too wide but you can always trim it to fit your pan.

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Sprinkle the dough with:

  • cinnamon (approximately 1 and 1/2 tsp)
  • brown sugar (approximately 1/3 cup packed)

Roll tightly and place in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Let the loaves rise for another hour.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Take out of pans to cool. Enjoy!