|Chocolate chip teatime bread|
I first decided to bake a Boterkoek for Christmas Day. We enjoyed slices of it with the Dutch campers at Serro da Bica last year, our first caravanning Christmas, so it will be a good tradition to maintain going forwards. However, it is incredibly sweet and buttery so I also wanted to bake something else that would be a treat but not (quite) so rich. After a while searching, I noticed a chocolate bread recipe in One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes which I thought could be adapted to suit the ingredients I already had to hand.
1 cup semi-skimmed milk, tepid
3 tbsp softened butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups flour
1 pack dried yeast
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small chips
1 egg, beaten
I put the first six ingredients into our bread maker and ran it on the Dough setting which took 90 minutes. The original recipe called for caster sugar, but I only have standard brown sugar so I ground this down for a few minutes. A pestle and mortar would be ideal - failing that, the end of a rolling pin and a cereal bowl make adequate substitutes. Also, we didn't have enough white flour so I used 2 cups of white and 1 1/4 cups of the Spanish 'Integral' flour which is a light wholemeal.
While the machine was running, I chopped a dark chocolate bar into chips and we ate the extra with coffee!
Once the machine had finished, I kneaded the dough for a few minutes until it was smooth and then continued kneading while incorporating the chocolate chips. This took several minutes to accomplish and I began to think there was too much chocolate for the quantity of dough. There wasn't.
Then I worked the dough into a long sausage shape and coiled it up, pressing the end under the coil to stop it unravelling. I put it on an oiled baking tray and covered it with loose cling film. It was warm in the caravan so I just left the bread out for 3/4 of an hour to rise. It did so but not drastically, maybe a little under doubling its size.
The oven had been preheated to 200c by baking the Boterkoek, so I then brushed beaten egg over the bread and baked it for 23 minutes. Again, it didn't rise as much as I expected, but was beginning to colour significantly so I considered it Done.
The proof is in the eating and this is a sweet bread that doesn't need buttering. It is a bit heavy - perhaps the wholemeal flour was unsuitable, perhaps the milk could have warmer to activate the dough sooner? We like the bitter chocolate flavour with the sweet bread and it is delicious still slightly warm. I bought some cherry jam to spread on slices thinking the flavours would complement each other - if the bread stays around long enough to cool down, I'll try that and let you know!