Waking up to the smell of chocolate bread may be the best Valentine's Day you ever had.
And it'll definitely make your neighbors jealous! ;-)
From failed-to-rise dough to chewy, nasty rolls, we eventually stumbled over a book that made it all go away: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Once you realize that you need the perfect flour, unlike the instructions in every recipe you'll ever read, you're about to find out the joy of watching dough rise.
And one of the great things about making your own bread is that you can choose the chocolate you want.
Rise, Rise, Rise! The Secret to Good Bread!
Our first try, we opened the larder and just took all the baking and leftover chocolate we had. We didn't want to spend a lot of money, because we didn't know if it would be good.
We went with super dark (high cacao %), that took a lot of cherry jam and creme fraiche (french cultured cream) to counter the bitter taste of the unsweetened chocolate. (We were also a little tipsy, so we may have been a little heavy handed on the flour).
The second time we tried this recipe, I bought Ghiradelli chocolate. I spent a little time heming and hawing in the chocolate aisle about whether I could use this type of chocolate and how bread goes with different flavors of chocolate.
I eventually decided that Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter were too experimental and I settled for Sea Salt Soiree!
Here's the full recipe.
What Should I Pair with Chocolate Bread?
I always enjoy Tutela, oops, Prosecco with anything for breakfast. Usually we have this with Moonstruck Eggs, but if it's Valentine's Day you should test it out with chocolate bread.
But, if you're doing a late night supper...
If you're more of an experimental romantic, then beer can provide a great complement (now more than ever given the amount of experimental styles).
A Belgian Lambic would be an obvious choice, full of sweetness and you get your choice of flavor. Raspberry is the most prevalent, but see if you can get some apricot. Fruity beers tend to be higher proof, so share with your sweetheart.
And He Calls Her...
If you don't live together then the best way to serve your chocolate bread is toasted for breakfast the next day. You bite in to it and it tastes like regular bread, which is a surprise, but any chocolate bits melt and they are delicious and gooey and yum!
I'd pair fresh plums with it, and add a little creme fraiche or marscapone (Italian cream cheese) on the side.
If you want to bake a loaf, then a whole pear baked into the bread makes it charming.