No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

PANE AL CIOCCOLATO (Italian chocolate bread)

Tuesday 16th September 2014

And here's the pic
Monday 15th September 2014
Making one of these for my coffee morning tomorrow.

200g strong flour (1/3rd wholemeal)
15g cocoa powder (about a dessertspoon and a half)
2 dessertspoons sugar
50g dates - chopped into quarters
60g dark chocolate - chopped roughly
25g walnuts - chopped into quarters
25g flaked almonds
100g sultanas - soaked for 30 minutes in hot water - use the water for the yeast liquid, but make sure it has cooled sufficiently
100ml yeast liquid made with 20g fresh yeast and 80g of the soaking water
50g olive oil (I used Lidl's Extra Virgin, which is all we have - but any olive oil is fine)

As below, except I added all the ingredients before mixing - with the sultanas now weighing 137g.

Mix into a dough and knead gently, as you don't want to smear the fruit, then go to 
step 6 below.

29th May 2012

These were made in one of my Adults with learning disability classes. A couple of them included flaked walnuts. And there's a bit more cocoa powder in the darker ones. 

200g strong white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 dessertspoon cocoa powder
125ml lukewarm liquid
1 dessertspoon fresh yeast
2 tbs olive oil

100g good dark chocolate, chopped roughly
50g chopped prunes

1. Measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast to dissolve. Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, pour in the yeast liquid and add the olive oil.

2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife, cutting through the dough. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – and stop before you get fed up!

4. Leave to prove for about an hour on your worktop, covered with a dry tea towel. Or place in an oiled plastic bag until you are ready for step 5.

5. When you are ready to proceed, place the dough on the worktop and press out into a flattish square. Place the chocolate and prunes on top of the dough and fold the dough over. Gently knead the dough to spread them evenly throughout.

6. Shape the loaf by pulling up the dough at the sides with your fingertips and pushing it down in the middle; do that all round the dough. This will have the effect of smoothing the underneath of the dough. Then turn it over and shape it into a round. Place it on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

7. Leave to prove until it has risen appreciably. Then bake at 220C, 425F or gas mark 7 for between 15-20 minutes. It is done when it is browned underneath. If your oven is browning the top of the loaf too fast, cover with foil or baking parchment.

Try adding other dried fruits at step five, such as dates or apricots.

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