Chocolate Bread… Yes, chocolate!

chocolate bread

As you all know by now, at BreadIn5 we take our sweets very seriously and chocolate is an essential food group. So we wanted to share one of the great pleasures of The New Artisan Bread in Five: Chocolate Bread. It has an intense chocolate flavor without being too sweet. This bread is equally as good with a sweet cherry jam as it is with a sharp cheddar; it all just depends on your mood. There will rarely be leftovers (but just in case there are we’ve also got a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, page 362 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, that is out of this world!)

chocolate bread

The chocolate dough is just a list of ingredients that gets dumped in a bucketthis is no different from any other recipe in the book, just a bit more on the list. This dough is unlike any other in the book as it has no stretch to it, due to all the chocolate.

Chocolate Bread from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, (Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Bread, on page 332).

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon granulated yeast

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – (natural or Dutch processed will work)

1 1/2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Butter for greasing the pan

Sugar for greasing the pan and sprinkling on top of the loaf

To make the dough:

Dump the water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, and sugar in the bucket and give a half-hearted stir. Dump in the flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Mix the dough together until there are no lumps of dry flour. Cover the bucket with a not airtight lid and allow to rest for about 2 hours on the counter.

You can use the dough immediately after rising and it is quite luxurious, but for this demo I wanted to show you how to deal with the chilled dough. So I stuck the dough in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

Grease your Loaf Pan (8 x 4-inch, or a 8 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman pan) and then sprinkle it with sugar. This extra step of sugaring is not essential, but it helps the loaf pop out of the pan. I prefer it to flour for chocolate breads because you don’t end up with the chalky look on the outside of your loaf.

Once the dough is chilled, reach in the bucket to grab the dough. You will be met with a very stiff dough that has no stretch, due to all the chocolate in the dough, not because your dough is too dry. Shape the dough into a round, and let it rest for a few minutes. Flatten the dough into a rectangle.

(A reader left a comment about forming two balls to create a loaf bread, they found it easier to work with. I thought for this dough it would also be a great idea, because you are just pressing it into shape instead of stretching it into a smooth ball. If you would like to try this method, take the 2 pounds of the dough from the bucket, divide it into two equal pieces and press them into smooth balls, then place them next to each other in the prepared pan. Thank you TS for the suggestion, I think it worked beautifully!)

Place the dough into the prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour and 45 minutes (up to 2 hours and 30 minutes if your kitchen is particularly cool).

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 350F.

The dough will rise a bit, but not a tremendous amount (this is true of all our dough). Sprinkle with sugar and bake in the center of the oven for 45-50 minutes, or when the bread registers 190-200F.

Remove from oven and take the bread out of the pan to cool completely.

chocolate bread

Enjoy with preserves, marmalade or a slice of sharp cheddar!

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181 thoughts on “Chocolate Bread… Yes, chocolate!

  1. It look’s fabulous! Where do I find the bread pudding recipe you mentioned? My husband loves bread pudding and chocolate… Looking forward to the new book!

    1. Hi Andree,

      I’m sorry to tempt you like that and not give the info! I’ve added page 237 to the post, so everyone can know where to find it!

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. I love bread. I am so glad I came across your site.

    I love it!!!!

    I am also offering a flavored olive oil giveaways. Check it out if you have time.

    I will be back~!!

  3. Wow, that looks good– I need to mix up a batch very soon! I’m looking forward to the new book. I pre-ordered it as soon as you guys posted about it here. 🙂

  4. That looks absolutely amazing! I’ll have to wait for my husband to come home from his business trip before I attempt this one. I’m afraid I’ll finish the entire thing on my own! Can’t wait to receive the new book, I’ve already prepurchased it at Amazon.:)

  5. My girls and I made this for a project fair (think Science fair where any subject or topic is fair game). They did ABin5 as their subject. They baked 8 loaves of bread (3 were chocolate, served with home made strawberry jam). The crowd sampling it LOVED it. I hope you sold some books. Our family loved it, too.
    The whole topic they focused on was the chemistry of kneaded vs high hydration dough.

    IT was a hit, but that’s because they served samples.

    Thanks again, for so many wonderful recipes…only 7 more days!

    1. Hi Cathie,

      That is fantastic! I have baked with my boys at their school during the science unit. It is so much fun to watch them all create their own bread. They come away understanding the reactions of the yeast, gluten and best of all they understand how all that sandwich bread is made. I love that they focused on kneading vs hydration! Very cool.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Zoe,
    The bread looks awesome and I can’t wait for the new book (it is on my Christmas list!), but I have a question for you. My loaf pan is an old one and doesn’t have the teflon coating – so can I use another kind of teflon-coated pan or is there something I can do to use the loaf pan that I have for the time being?


    1. Hi Chrissy,

      For this bread it will not be an issue as much, because it is not nearly as wet as most of our doughs. For some of the wetter doughs we recommend the non-stick so that the bread won’t stick to the pan. If you just grease it really well I think you may be fine to use your pan. Some people have even said they create a parchment paper sling on the bottom of the pan for insurance against sticking. You may want to try that if you fear your dough may stick.

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  7. I looked for another place to post this and couldn’t find one, so hope that it popping up in the discussion of Chocolate Bread is not too much of an interruption.

    Several years ago I spent almost three weeks in Russia at the beginning of Peristroika. I grew up in a baker’s family and worked in that trade through high school and college, so I am hard to impress when it comes to really great bread. But the Russian Black Bread was the best bread I have ever eaten – totally unlike the dry, often burned stuff you can buy in the States. As a visiting American dignitary I was able to wrangle a tour through the state bakery in Gorky which made about 10,000 loaves a day. (In fact, as a gift, the manager gave me her personal recipe book – unfortunately it is in Russian which I do not read and the batches were for about 500 loaves at a time.) Anyway, it was wonderful bread and I have searched unsuccessfully to find bread that matches it since my return. It was a sourdough based bread, which would accord with your style of bread – not saying that your bread is sourdough bread – but it’s flavor has many of those characteristics as it matures in the refrigerator. (the manager showed me their starter – in a big vat about twice the size of a home bathtub) It was moist and extremely flavorful – so much so that you didn’t miss butter (which at the time cost about a week’s wages for your average Russian for a pound). Have you ever tried developing a recipe and if so, where would I find it? If not, would you consider trying? I would even scan the Russian recipe for you if it would help.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration.


    1. Dan: Happy to see your note here– it doesn’ t matter if the Comment’s subject matches the Post or not. I would love to play with the Russian recipe, and I have a friend who can translate the Russian for me. Why don’t you scan and send it to me at my e-mail address in the Contact tab, and see what we can do…. we’re about to go on book tour so it will be a while.

      Have you made the Pumpernickel in Artisan Bread in Five? There’s also a Bavarian-Style Pumpernickel in our new book, which will be released Tuesday. Jeff

  8. They made a Chocolate Coconut Bread on the Today Show yesterday. It was a no knead bread but you had to leave it to rise for 12 hours or more. Do you think coconut could be added to this recipe so that I can have the chocolate coconut flavor but use your method?

  9. Quick ? for you both…I have to make St. Lucia Buns for my girls’ book club (talking about traditions of Swedish Immigrants in Minnesota). I don’t have saffron, so I don’t intend to do a “traditional” saffron bread. However, I would like to “sub” another bread for it. What do you think would come closest? We’re really looking to engage the girls in a conversation about the importance of food in tradition. I’d love your suggestions. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Cathie,

      I think the Challah or the brioche doughs would work really well for this style bread. The Challah is probably a little closer to the richness of the Swedish bread you are used to?

      Have fun baking with your girls, I hope they become bread bakers and this is the start of a new tradition!

      Enjoy, Zoë

  10. How is it that this receipe was hiding from me in my copy of ABin5 all this time?!? I mixed up the dough last night and plan to bake it today. My 5 yr old was so worried I was baking to take to a meeting last night – but I assured him this one is all ours 🙂

    I’m sure I’ve shared this already, but the new book has been pre-ordered with my local bookshop for about two months now. Thank you again for your amazing ideas!! Have fun on the book tour; I will try to catch you at Powell’s in Portland. I live over 2 hours away, but I’ll try.

    1. Hi Tara,

      How wonderful, I hope you and your 5 year old enjoy the bread! I really hope you make it to Powell’s, it would be fun to meet you!

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. I love your breads recipes but I was wondering if you could have some nice and easy Croissants recipes as well?

    Thank you very much!


    1. Hi Caroline,

      The beauty of a wonderful croissant is all the flaky layers in the dough. This is done by laminating the butter and yeast dough layers together with many folds, which takes way more than 5 minutes. It is something that just can’t be rushed and still be as flaky and delicious.

      If you want something as rich and decadent I’d recommend the brioche, but it is more cakey than flaky!

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Every time I read one of these posts, I think of how cool/amazing technology is and how far we’ve come. That we can chat and ask bread questions and get an answer within a few hours from the authors….what a small world! I loved Dan’s post and hope you have luck with his Russian Bread! It sounds yummy! Keep up your great work! I am pre-ordered on Amazon…can’t wait until next week!

  13. I made this and it was really good. Used the leftovers for French toast with cherry preserves – truly decadent. I did the free form loaf, excited to try the loaf pan version!

  14. Since I am your groupie, I made this bread yesterday. It is gorgeous. I plan to make it even more decadent by making it into the bread pudding that you mentioned. This will definitely be a candidate for Bake and Release (a very useful term I learned from one of your readers’ comments). Thanks again for another fabulous recipe.

    1. Hi Helen,

      Most of the time you need to reduce the temp by 20-25 degrees. Watch the color of the crust, you may need to rotate the bread for the last 10 minutes of baking if one side is browning faster than the other. It makes a wonderful crust on the bread, but you just have to watch it the first time until you get used to it.

      Enjoy your knew oven, Zoë

    1. Hi Diane,

      You can bake as many loaves as fit comfortably on the stone. This just means that they have plenty of room to expand as they bake. You don’t need to add any more water or time to the baking as long as they are the same size.

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. Hi Zoe and Jeff!

    I’m definitely going to have to get some cocoa powder! This looks absolutely DIVINE!

    I’m sending care packages to a few friends (one has been sick for a couple of weeks, one just found out she’s pregnant, and the other is opening up a new church building!) and this will make a wonderful addition to each box!

    By chance do you know how well your bread ships? I’m in Texas and one of my friends is in Kansas, another in in California, and the other is in Maine. I’m confident that they will all ship quite well, but wanted to see if you had first hand knowledge.

    Good luck on the book tour! I’m hoping you pass through Dallas!

    1. Hi Ms. B,

      I’ve never sent the bread through the mail? I usually just send books! 😉 Which loaves are you thinking of sending? I think the big boules will last better than thin baguettes.

      Please let me know how it goes so I can pass on the info to others!

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. Zoë and Jeff! I have just removed two loaves of the Master recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. (I love the video you did for the Amazon site.) In about two minutes I’m going to slice one or both of them. 🙂 Ohboyohboyohboy.
    Unfortunately, I cannot be at the signing tomorrow evening!! Darn! I hope I’ll catch up somewhere else, though, to have a copy signed. I am so delighted for you both!

  17. ***Oh boy! ***
    I just got an email from Amazon, my new “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes” has shipped!!! Yeah! Can hardly wait!

  18. I just have to tell you… I am so excited for your new book…

    Also, It’s been 1 and 1/2 years since I have purchased ANY bread of ANY kind from the store… since finding and using this book an technique…

    I make all my own hot dog buns, bagels, hamburger buns, pitas, focaccia, you name it! I only buy tortillas from the store now…


  19. Hey Zoe!

    I took a day off to bake and i’m sending cranberry/rasin stuffed brioche mini muffins, cinnamon brioche mini muffins (my friend needs them in individual sizes, so mini muffins it is!) and I’m going to pack a pear/cranberry cake (inspired by the apple/pear cake you have posted on this site). Fingers are crossed! I’ll take pictures of the packing process and let you know how it arrives at all points!

    Oh, and I’m also sending a few loaves of boule as well. I’m guessing those will be the least of my worries.

    I’ll report soon!

    Ms. B

  20. this looks divine and i can’t wait to try it!…there is a place here in los angeles that makes white chocolate bread. any ideas? thanks.

    1. Hi Dina,

      White chocolate behaves very differently than dark chocolate so you can’t exchange one for the other in equal amounts. Having said that you can add white chocolate instead of the 5-ounces of finely chopped chocolate that is added at the end. It sounds delicious, but I would have to play with the recipe to find out how much chocolate to melt with the butter in the first step.

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

  21. Hi! I am looking forward to making this, but wondering – Step 2 says to “Dump in the…chocolate chips.” I can’t find any reference to chocolate chips in the ingredients list; is this the same as the “5 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate”? Or am I missing something?
    Thanks for this inspiration!

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Yes, the chips I refer to are the 5-ounces of finely chopped chocolate. I will change the directions to be clearer. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

      Enjoy, Zoë

  22. Jackie mentioned a Chocolate Coconut Bread and I love coconut also. Jeff or Zoe is it possible to add the coconut to this recipe?

    1. Hi Debbie,

      It would be wonderful to add some coconut! Maybe add 1 cup to the recipe and increase the water by a 1/4 cup.

      Please report back and let me know how it goes!


  23. This recipe says the dough is stiff w/no stretch….is it so stiff that it couldn’t be braided? I have a recipe for yeasted banana bread and would like to braid strands of it with this choclate bread. Drool.

  24. I was wondering if it’s possible to make pan de muerto with the challah or brioche base. What do you suggest? I would love to see a post on this.

    Thanks! I’m loving my bread revolution!

    1. Tara: I’ve seen a couple of pan de muerto recipes and they seem to be a dead ringer (sorry) for challah. Brioche should work too, just might be richer than traditional. Some recipes add about a teaspoon of ground anise to the mix, and even cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon’s probably about right) to a mix similar to our challah recipes.

  25. Plan to whip up a batch of the chocolate bread for an upcoming bake sale.

    But here’s a question: I hear that weighing ingredients is more accurate, especially for the flour. How do I convert cups to weight measurements? I tend to use unbleached flour at 12 g protein/cup or unbleached bread flour at 16 g protein/cup.

    1. Hi Robin,

      In our recipes 1 cup = 5 ounces of flour. If you are using a very high protein flour you may need to add up to a 1/4 cup of water to the recipe to create the consistency we are going for.

      I hope this helps! Zoë

  26. I made this in August, screwed up the recipe in half a dozen ways (baking chocolate instead of bittersweet) and it still came out tasting great with a good texture to the finished product. To the gal who wantedto braid it, you’d probably be better off making lots of small balls or ovals and putting them side b side and under and over. This dough cracks when handled.

  27. So glad I saw this one. I have a 3yr old chocolate stout (my homemade brew) that I am going to use as part of the liquid for this one. I also add dried cherries when I make a chocolate bread. How much chocolate stout should I use do you think? I bottle it in 12 oz bottles, so maybe one bottle? What do you think? It’s a very rich beer made with cocoa. After 3 yrs it’s extrememly smooth as well.

    1. Ezzie: Wow, I want to drink that stout! But if you want to use it in the bread, yes, a whole bottle will strongly flavor the bread. Alternative– test with 8 ounces first (decrease the water by same amount). Jeff

  28. Chocolate Bread! I think I produced happy endorphins just looking at the pictures. I captured wild yeast from my grapes and have a great sourdough starter. Recipe and pictures in my blog – Gloria

  29. Hello Zoe,

    Writing from Greater China. You may be delighted to know that your first book and techniques (some translated into Chinese) have been widely experimented and passed on by bloggers in a far-flung country like Taiwan (I believe in HK or China, too) and friends residing throughout the world . Perhaps you and Jeff will consider a trip to Asia to meet fans.

    I am not sure if you could help me with a problem with the chocolate bread. Following the 3-hour freeze period, the dough (with 4 ounces of chocolate omitted from the original recipe) remained soggy and running, resulting in a texture that tends to fall in small pieces. Is it be cause of the freezing time or chocolate? What would you do? Thank you in advance.

    1. Huichen: You’ll be pleased to know that our book is being translated into Mandarin (simplified characters), and will be out in about a year (I believe).

      Not sure what you mean by “freezing…” do you mean “refrigeration,” or are you actually freezing it? Jeff

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