Friday, January 17, 2014

Bread Baking Babes went to the Dark side... Chocolate Prune Bread

Humhum... not sure if this is going to work as planned but I successfully accessed an out-of-the-house camera, transferred pictures through a screen I never saw before and got them safely (or that's what I am thinking right now) on to my tablet. Hah! Take that employers that do not wish to look beyond age, job-hiatus and allegedly not up to date computer skills!
With age comes grace, flexibility, inventivity (because contrary to popular belief you don't get stuck in your ways when over 30, because at over 40 you know that things don't always go as planned and you invent ways to get things done. Bottom line here: get things done any which way!)

Okay. Stop the rant and enter the dark side.

The dark side of bread that is. This month's challenge issued by our Babeness Jamie was to bake with chocolate, prunes, more chocolate and bread dough, resulting in a Chocolate Prune bread as per the recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (revised & updated edition) by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François.

That is no-knead bread. Ai!! No knead? Those were the breads that were either wonderfully moist inside or clammy and not really cooked depending which way you sway... and I had some memories lingering which led me to believe that no-knead breads = gummy innards. So yes I was a bit apprehensive, but the combination of chocolate and prunes called!

Mixing up the dough made me wonder how I was going to roll it out (and up) because once prepared the dough resembled brownie batter more than bread dough. I prepared my work area with a smattering of flour and lo-and-behold... it was so easy! Granted I didn't use a rolling pin but chose to flatten and pat the dough into a rectangle and that proved to be very easy. Definitely chill the risen dough in the fridge for a couple of hours! Mine was in the fridge for only two hours but the chilled dough was definitely easier to handle, so keep that in mind when you try this.

When I had my rectangle of dough I sprinkled the chopped prunes and a cup of chocolate chips on plus.... I added a 1/4 cup of cinnamon sugar. Yes. I did. Not scared to admit it. And boy was that a stroke of genius! I made the whole batch of dough (sufficient for two loaves) and the second part of the dough was sprinkled with chopped dates and walnuts.

The prune chocolate bread was then rolled up and sliced as you would slice cinnamon rolls, arranged them in a spring form (22cm) and let them rise.
The second loaf, sprinkled with dates and walnuts was rolled up and then coiled (like a snail) and put in another springform to rise. Both doughs rose well but I could see that the shaping made a difference already. The coil rose evenly and stayed in shape. The cinnamon roll type rose all over the place and looked quite wet and bubbly.

Baking went without any problems, again the coil behaved beautifully, the rolls fluffed out and didn't look nice at all. Bummer!
Then the proof is in the eating..... I loved the walnut-date combination with the chocolate, I didn't care much for the prune-chocolate combination but boy that cinnamon sugar I added... Yum!! It brought everything together!  So if I were to bake this again I would stick the date-walnut-chocolate with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and coil it.

The boys loved it but they weren't sure how to take it. Is it a bread? Is it a brownie? Is it cake? I thought the texture and looks were more cake-like but the mouthfeel was definitely bread. Oh and I would like to tell you that it toasts magnificently ... my oh my..... a bit of butter.... (or do as the chocolate monster did: nutella!)

Thanks Jamie! Restored faith in the no-knead breads! Please hop over to the other Babes and see how they got their chocolate fix! (Find the links in the right hand side bar)

January’s Bread Baking Babes recipe is Chocolate Prune Bread from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (revised & updated edition) by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François. You too can bake along with us and be a Bread Baking Buddy. Simply bake this Chocolate Prune Bread, blog it – don’t forget to mention being a Bread Baking Buddy and link back to Jamie's blog post! Then send her the link (please include your name and your blog’s name) by January 29th to jamieannschler AT gmail DOT com with January Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line and Jamie will add you to the roundup at the end of the month.


  1. A happy ending for your no-knead chocolatey loaf, looking good. With the whole batch baked, it's good to have some chocolate loving guys around!

  2. Brilliant idea to toast it, wish I had thought of it myself (says the copy-cat who imitated you all way through)

  3. Wow, i can't get over the loft you got! It's beautiful. I particularly like that mushroom cap look. Or is it a chef's hat?

    I also really like the idea of adding walnuts. And dates. Even though I love prunes in baking. But dates are even more thrilling.

    And what great photos! Ha! You showed them that experience and the ability to think creatively to solve problems really does make a difference. Well done!

  4. I love your dark side rant! and both your breads. I easily see/understand why the cinnamon would be genius ... but then you are. and the hoops you jumped thru to get the photos - aren't we super smart! Way to go Babe! and toast ... that alone seems enough to want to bake this one. Lucky you to have those willing adolescent calorie burners!

  5. Just because we knew computers when they were still 1's and 0's... Oh wait, that's just me....
    Well done - bread's good too....

  6. I love the sound of the date walnut version. Don't they make a lovely pair? I didn't get to try it toasted since it was gone before the next day.....maybe next time


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