6.17.2016

Chocolate Walnut Twist Bread


Well hello there everyone! It feels so good to be back! Though I am not REALLY back yet, just popping in to say hello, I'm alive and well! I'm officially a married woman and living in the Midwest now! It's definitely going to take some time adjusting, not to mention unpacking. So, I have a few friends guest posting for me in the meantime. Take it away Nancy!


Hi everyone, I’m Nancy from gotta get baked and I’ve been a very bad blogger. I haven’t baked or posted anything in what feels like forever. So what’s brought me out of my self-imposed solitary? When a friend needs help, I spring into action!


The lovely Meriem is caught up in a whirlwind of activities right now and she asked if I could guest post while she’s getting married and moving. Phew! I mean, only one of those activities would be crazy stressful but two at the same time! Meriem, you’re super woman.


I wanted to make something rich, decadent and beautiful but also comforting and easy to make. I wracked my brain for a loooooong time before I decided on this chocolate walnut twist bread.


It may seem like there are a ton of steps but believe me, it’s not that daunting. Most of the time is spent waiting for the dough to rise and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find baking bread to be super therapeutic. There’s just something incredibly special about setting aside a day to get into the kitchen and use your hands to create a stunning, chocolatey, cinnamon-y, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside loaf of carby goodness.

Meriem, as stressful as it is to get married and move, I hope you’re also enjoying every wonderful moment with your partner and loved ones. The time flies by so quickly – savor it. You deserve all the joy, love and happiness life has to offer!


Chocolate Walnut Twist Bread

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Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (120F to 130F)
½ cup warm milk (120F to 130F)
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large egg yolks
2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

For the topping:
1 egg, for egg wash
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Directions:

Combine yeast with warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Let stand for 10 minutes until frothy. Mix in the warm milk, melted butter and egg yolks until combined. Add the flour, granulated sugar and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until dough is smooth and pulls cleanly away from the side of the bowl. Continue beating on medium speed for 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place dough in a warm place and rest for about an hour until it is doubled in size.

While the dough rises, make the filling. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and using your hands, rub the ingredients together until fully combined into a paste.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 22x12 inch rectangle. Don’t sweat it if it’s not a perfect rectangle. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the dough right to the edges. With the long edge facing you, tightly roll up the dough.

Place the roll seam-side up. Using a sharp knife, cut the log lengthwise in half along the seam. 

Separate the two halves, cut-side up. Weave the two halves together as tightly as possible, keeping the cut-side up. Form the woven log into a circle, tucking the ends underneath and pinching together. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the bread onto the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles, about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Brush the egg wash over the top of twisted bread. Mix together the ¼ cup granulated sugar, tsp cinnamon and tsp cocoa. Sprinkle liberally over the top of the bread. Bake in the center of the oven until the bread is a deep golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. Carefully move the bread to a cooling rack to complete cooling

Adapted from Chatelaine


I cannot emphasize enough how tasty this bread is. It’s not too sweet. You get that hint of chocolate, which is emphasized by the espresso powder and is perfectly paired with the spiciness of the cinnamon. The outside of the loaf is wonderfully crisp and there’s a lovely crunch from the chopped walnuts. Last but not least, the bread itself is soft and fragrant. I ate half of the damn thing after it came out of the oven and I don’t regret a single bite or calorie!

Meriem, thank you once again for inviting me into your beautiful space!

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