This came about because I LOVE chocolate chip brioche – so I decided to try to make some chocolate chip bread as a replacement. Unfortunately, though, the chocolate chips all melted into the dough as I added my usual boiling water and I ended up with this Chocolate Tea Bread instead – but it was still delicious! I eat mine in chunks, warm with spread and a cuppa. I’ll make true chocolate chip brioche another day, but this is no apology – I’ve stumbled on something heavenly. Bliss!
Makes 1 small loaf
275g self-raising flour (or 275g plain flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder or bicarbonate of soda), plus extra to knead the dough
a 7g sachet of fast-acting dried yeast
200g white chocolate
25g butter, plus extra to grease the loaf tin
150ml boiling water with a tea bag steeped in it and allowed to cool (Trust me on this one!)
Measure the flour, yeast and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Break the chocolate into chunks. It’s up to you how you do this; I put mine into a freezer bag and bash it with the flat end of a rolling pin, or you could use a wood mallet in a similar set- up, or chop the chocolate on a work surface with a big sharp knife if you’re cheffy and adept at that sort of thing. Tip the chocolate chunks into the bowl with the flour, yeast and sugar.
Add the butter to the bowl and pour in the black tea, then stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined and the mixture has turned into a pliable, soft, sticky dough.
Tip out the dough on to a generously floured work surface and knead for a good 10 minutes. I always notice when I’ve got oil or butter in a bread dough because it has a beautiful silken texture and eminent pliability. If you’ve made bread before, you’ll notice the difference.
When kneaded, pat the dough into a rugby ball shape, cover and leave on the side for 20 minutes to rise.
Once the dough has risen, transfer it into a lightly greased 1lb loaf tin (approximately 17 x 7 x 6cm) to prove. Cover with oiled cling film or a tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further half an hour. A little before the end of the proving time, put on the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 to preheat.
When the dough has risen again, put the tin into the preheated oven for 40 minutes to bake, and wait for the smell of chocolate and bread to permeate your house. If the top of the loaf starts to brown before it’s done, remove from the oven, cover the tin with tin foil and pop it back in for the remainder of the baking time.
Remove the tin from the oven, allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack and turn out ready to slice and eat.
Tip: To make a proper buttery- type chocolate brioche bread, fold in the chocolate chunks when kneading the dough instead of earlier on.
‘White Chocolate Tea Bread’ from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.
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