Fresh Butter Bread with a Chocolate Swirl

Photo Credit: The Food Charlatan

Homemade bread must be one of the best foods there is, with a fluffy interior and golden exterior. Of course, everyone is familiar with savory bread, like sandwich bread, cheese loaves, and ciabatta, but have you ever considered making a dessert bread recipe following the same principles? This fresh butter bread with a chocolate swirl recipe is not like your quick bread recipes, like banana or zucchini bread; rather, it uses yeast dough that gets chocolate speckled throughout. While this bread recipe might be time-consuming, it is actually fairly easy to make, because what makes it long is the resting time for the dough, not because there is any particularly challenging technique.

If you have never made bread before but are wondering how to make bread, this chocolate swirl loaf recipe is a good starting point. Typical ingredients for bread at its most basic level would be simply yeast, flour, salt, and water, but this bread dough recipe acts more like a brioche with the addition of eggs and butter. As with any bread recipe, you start your recipe by proofing the yeast in warm liquid, in this case, milk, and the ideal temperature to do this at would be 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher, the yeast would be killed, and any lower, the yeast may not proof properly. Once this happens, the dry ingredients, eggs, and butter are kneaded in to create a soft dough that forms the base of your chocolate bread recipe. Don’t worry, however, if you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, since you can always mix your dough by hand. In fact, sometimes you run the risk of over mixing bread dough in a stand mixer, and if it’s your first time baking bread, you might prefer to mix by hand so that you learn how the bread should feel.

Easy bread recipes are the ones that don’t require you to spend an excessive amount of time preparing them, and in the case of this chocolate babka recipe, there are two resting times for the dough. After preparing the initial dough, it has to rise for an hour or two before being rolled out and filled with decadent chopped chocolate. Once the entire loaf is assembled, the bread has to rise again before being baked. Chocolate babka recipes come from Eastern European Jewish culture which involves a yeast dough filled with either cinnamon or chocolate. Sometimes, this bread recipe can include a streusel topping as well.

In the case of this particular babka recipe, bittersweet chocolate is mixed into the dough to create a swirled effect and is particularly good because it is a dark chocolate that is sweetened a small amount. Similar to challah bread, the dough is enriched with eggs producing a soft fluffy crumb and rich flavor. The bread will be buttery with the richness of melted dark chocolate. Thank you to Karen, the author of ‘The Food Charlatan’ recipe blog, for sharing her chocolate babka recipe with us.**

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