I promised my wife last month that I would make her a version of a chocolate bread she saw posted from a bakery on-line. I finally had a chance to bake my version. I wanted to make a soft moist bread with plenty of flavor and several different types of chocolate.
I chose a version of a Tangzhong bread I’ve made in the past and used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and milk instead of buttermilk.
This ended up being a very wet dough but it created a wonderful open and moist crumb chock full of chocolate goodness. The dough was perfectly developed and sprung up wonderfully high in the oven when baked.
Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.
Tangzhong is the technique of heating a portion of the flour and liquid in your recipe to approximately 65C to make a paste (roux). At this temperature the flour undergoes a change and gelatinizes. By adding this roux to your final dough it will help create a soft, fluffy, moist open crumb. It is also supposed to help prevent the bread from going stale.
It is not very difficult to do a Tangzhong. Use a 5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan. Heat the pan while stirring constantly. Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency. Take it off the heat and let it cool before using it in your recipe. Some people will refrigerate it for a while but you can use it right away as soon as it cools.
Levain Directions (Using AP Starter at 66% Hydration for Seed)
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I used my Proofer set at 81 degrees and it took about 4 hours.
Main Dough Directions
Prepare the Tangzhong per directions above and allow to cool to room temperature.
Mix the flours, Tangzhong, milk and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for one hour or longer. Next add the salt, butter, egg, oil, cheese and starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and mix on low for a minute. Mix for a total of 6 minutes in your mixer starting on low-speed and working your way up to speed #3 for the last 2 minutes. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. On the last stretch and fold, gently add the chocolate a little at a time and fold it into the dough until fully incorporated. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1/2 hour. Remove the dough and cut into 2 equal size pieces and form into loose rounds. Let it sit covered for around 15-30 minutes. Do your final shaping and place into your baskets or couche. Let the dough proof in your proofer set at 78 degrees for 1.5 hours or on your counter for 1.5 – 2 hours until the dough has risen about 50%. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.
Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown.
Take the breads out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist before digging in. This is a good bread to eat warm with the chocolate still melting.