February is Chocolate Lover’s Month. Have you celebrated yet? I’ve been celebrating all month.
Since chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand-in-hand, I decided to celebrate Chocolate Lover’s Month and Valentine’s Day by making some Italian Chocolate Chip Bread for two of my Sweethearts – my youngest son and my boyfriend. My oldest son and his girlfriend got the Panda Bread. As for me, I got the satisfaction of making bread and giving it away.
The original version of this bread calls for all-purpose flour, but I decided to make it more nutritious (shhh…don’t tell!) by adding some spelt flour. Spelt is one of the super grains and can be used in anything in which wheat flour is used so I figured I’d share the love with chocolate and spelt.
I doubled the recipe for this Chocolate Chip Bread so I could ship one loaf to my son at college and give the other to my BF. My son really enjoyed the Whole Wheat and Spelt Bread. He said it was really good, but he wished he hadn’t eaten all of the Homemade Strawberry Jam. Hint, hint…
Yeah! I’m a sucker. I sent him more jam when I shipped him this bread.
Italian Chocolate Chip Bread
Adapted from: Making Fresh Bread from your oven to your table from LOVE FOOD
Makes: 1 loaf
- vegetable oil, for brushing
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 cup white spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter; plus 1/2 teaspoon melted butter for brushing
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Brush a cookie sheet with oil. Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt together into a bowl.
Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients.
Stir in the sugar and yeast.
Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring well with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together.
Then knead with your hands until it leaves the side of the bowl.
Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Knead the chocolate chips into the dough, then form into a round loaf.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About an hour.
Shape the loaves into rounds and place onto the prepared cookie sheet and put the cookie sheet into a plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise in a warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375ºF/ 190ºC, and bake for 15 minutes more.
Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and brush the top with the melted butter. Cover with a dish towel and let cool.
At this point, I was ready to pick up one of the loaves and just take a big bite, but I refrained. The loaves actually made it to the intended recipients. Although I did slice one so that I could get this crumb shot, but I didn’t eat the slice. Aren’t you proud of me?
Thanks for celebrating Chocolate Lover’s Month with me. There’s still time to make your own chocolate bread this month.