Chocolate Chestnut Bread with Red Star Yeast

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is such an iconic image of Christmas. If you’ve never had roasted chestnuts, they are one of the sweetest and creamiest of nuts and the absolute perfect pairing with chocolate. This elegant bread is from our new Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and is super easy to make. If you have a tall panettone mold, it makes a really festive loaf for the holidays or a great gift, along with our newest book. You can also bake this in a loaf pan or even muffin cups.

I also used this loaf to make a wonderful bread pudding (recipe link at the end). Watch our video on instagram of how we made the bread and tips for kneading ingredients into dough you have stored in the refrigerator.

2 pounds – from a batch of Brioche dough made with Platinum Yeast from Red Star

1 cup chopped Roasted and Peeled Chestnuts

1 cup finely chopped chocolate

Egg yolk wash (1 yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Mix the dough in a 6-Quart Round Food-Storage Container with Lid with a Danish Dough Whisk or with a Stand Mixer, as directed in the recipe. You can certainly use any of our enriched doughs, from any of our books.

A single batch of dough will make about 2 large loaves.

Once the dough has rested on the counter for 2 hours, refrigerate it until it is thoroughly chilled.

Pull out a 2 pound piece of dough, roll it out to a 1/4-inch rectangle, distribute the chestnuts and chocolate and then knead until thoroughly combined.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a well buttered 6-inch Panettone Pan . If you are using a Paper Mold, you will want to make sure it is tall enough or use a wider one.

Let the dough rise for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle of the oven.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until caramel colored and set when tapped on the top.

Allow the loaf to cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

To make any of the leftovers into bread pudding, you’ll find the recipe on Zoë’s website.



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30 thoughts on “Chocolate Chestnut Bread with Red Star Yeast

  1. When you refer to a batch of the brioche dough – is that the full 4 lbs of dough or a 1 1/2 lb piece. I made the full quantity of dough last week, used 1 1/2 lb for the Star Bread and have the rest in the freezer. Thanks!

    1. Hi Susan,

      It was a mistake, it was meant to say 2 pounds of dough from a batch of brioche. Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. I changed it.

      Cheers, Zoë

    1. Hi Amy,

      Yes, there sure is and it does get baked. I added a bunch of information that will make this way easier to follow. My apologies for the confusion!

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Re refrigerating the dough after the 2-hour room temp rise (l’m working on the Mazanec dough p 285): what do you consider refrigerated temperature? I’d love to put it in my garage, which hovers in the 45 degree range. OK?

    1. Hi Laura,

      The average refrigerator temperature is about 35-40°F, so keeping an egg based bread at 45 for any length of time would not work. You can leave lean doughs (no dairy, eggs) at that temp.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      Yes, I would say it can. I would try a smaller loaf and see how you like it. The gluten-free dough doesn’t preform as well when baked in large tall loaves, so maybe try a 1-pound and see what you think.

      Cheers, Zoe

  3. Hi!

    Totally obsessed with the new book! Everything is sooo amazing!

    Quick question: any guidelines for replacing the honey with sugar in the new brioche recipe? I love honey but for some reason I am not enjoying the flavor in some uses for this bread (even though I used the mildest available to me). I use weight (grams) for baking but I’m not sure swapping equal weight works? Is there another reason besides taste for its use?

    Thank you! You guys got me over my fear of yeast with your first book!

    1. So glad to hear, Diana, thanks for the kind words. About honey vs sugar…

      Honey is a very concentrated sugar solution. Roughly speaking, it’s close to a 1:1 swap by volume, but if you do that, you’ll be taking a very small amount of water out of the recipe, and replacing it with a solid. To be perfectly consistent, you’d have to add a little water. My hero in this area is Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book on bread, which says that honey is about 15% water. So you’d have to replace the water corresponding to 15% of a half-cup. See what I mean? Not a whole lot.

      And of course, if you’re really being stickler, you could reduce the sugar volume a bit for the same sweetness effect. Bottom line–it’s very close to a 1:1 volume swap, and the flavor will be neutral.

      1. np! If you find that the resulting dough is too wet, dry, or sweet, you can make the slight adjustments that are required…

      2. Wanted to add: I made another batch of brioche replacing the honey with 1.25x honey volume with sugar plus ~20% water. Browning normally. Maybe I mismeasured last batch. However, we did notice a strong alcohol like flavor. One person even asked if it was spiked! I only had the dough in the fridge 48 hrs and used 2 tsp yeast (red star active dry) and only had @ room temp 2 hrs (high 60s Florida). Would using honey mitigate the flavor issue?

        I’m going to have to stop buying flour! Too many goodies to make in this last book! Thank for helping keep my sanity with a little one to care for!

        Diana

      3. Your welcome!

        I suppose honey (or any sweetener) could accentuate the alcohol level, but isn’t the flavor baking off and then dissipating altogether during the cooling phase? Are you tasting it in cooled bread? May just be a matter of completely letting it cool.

  4. I’m hoping to try this next. I’ve made cinnamon rolls (best i’ve Ever made) and lemon twist bread. I needed to let the lemon twist rise longer but it was still tasty. Next time I try that I’m going to try ginger streusel. It would also be good with cranberry curd. Anyway thanks for writing a great book-it was a fantastic Christmas present!

  5. Hi Zoë and Jeff,

    I am totally obsessed with the latest book. It is sooooo AWESOME!

    In the sticky bun recipe, what would happen if I substituted more brown sugar for the honey? Not a fan of honey lately!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Thanks,
    Diana

      1. Hello again!

        Just wanted to let you know I just made the caramel rolls from the new book and they are wonderful! Our previous go to recipe was Flour cookbook’s Famous Sticky Sticky Buns which were featured on Food Network. My family liked these more! They especially liked the caramel topping! Your recipe is our new go-to!

        I made the brioche dough with sugar as per rec above to swap 1:1 volume. The difference I noted was that the dough did not brown much if at all. Does the honey help with the browning? Aside from using honey, can I add anything else to promote browning? Can’t really egg wash sticky buns!

        Thanks again for a wonderful book! Looking forward to making more!

      2. Diana: I’m surprised to hear about the browning problem, sugar or any natural sweetener usually promotes it. I’m going to ask Zoe to weigh in, plus maybe she’ll be pleased to hear that we’re winning out over Flour!

  6. I am having a hard time getting my dough to rise when I make the initial batch. I am working for your new book Holiday and Celebration breads. I have checked my yeast,and I don’t add hot liquids when I mix the batch. My brioche, Amish milk bread,and Easter raisin bread didn’t seem to rise at all! The bread comes out okay, but I could use some advice!! Thanks so much!

    1. Heather, the biggest problem we’ve seen in slow rising is that people aren’t letting the eggs come to room temp before using–try that.

      But–you’re saying that the final result is okay, so I assume good hole structure and expansion of gasses. So… I’m guessing that what’s really happening is “spreading”… that our loose dough tends to go sideways rather than upwards. To confirm that, try it in a pan that allows the dough to rise about 3/4 of the way up, and see what you think of the result.

      And though you’re right to avoid hot water, you should use lukewarm, otherwise the rise will be very slow.

      1. Thank you so much for the advise!! I made sure that my eggs are room temp and that the water I use is lukewarm. I think the “spreading ” theory you proposed is probably what is happening. I was just worried because my dough is not streatchy, like the super strong dough but rather spongy, so I can break it off as opposed to cutting it like the dough in your other books. The bread does come out tasty, I just wanted to make sure the dough texture was right,or if I am making an error. Thank you again for the quick response, and the Holiday and Celebration book is amazing!!

      2. Hi Heather,

        The dough with so much butter and eggs will disrupt the gluten structure in the dough, so it does tend to just break apart instead of having a lot of stretch. We do recommend giving it a few seconds of kneading before you shape it into the loaf you are making, just to develop more gluten in your bread.

        Cheers, Zoë

      3. Thank you again for such a quick response!! I feel much better now knowing that I am not messing up the recipes!! I followed your advice about kneading the dough for a few extra minutes and it made a world of difference!! Thank you both for such an amazing book!! I have been baking nonstop since I got it(Holiday and Celebration breads in 5)! Everything has come out delicious! Zoe,can’t wait for your pastry book to come out! I am really looking forward to it! Thanks again, Heather

      4. Hi Heather,

        That’s fantastic, I am so glad it made a difference.

        Thank you for the enthusiasm about my pastry book, I am so looking forward to it as well!

        Cheers! Zoë

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