This is probably by-far the most challenging bake for The Home Bakers and second most challenging bakes I've ever encountered (the first would still belong to these macarons - I had failed at least 5 times baking them...)
To be honest, I almost wanted to give up baking it - I've tried it twice and both times the bread was just too hard and dry and I was already late for the submission. But you know how sometimes, the more we failed at something, the more we will try it to get it right? And finally, the 3rd and 4th tries were successes! Okay not say a 100% success, but 70%? The bread was soft and fluffy, and the chocolate swirls were absolutely delicious. I just wished that it would be even more softer - maybe I should try it out with bread flour / knead more etc... but overall I'm really glad that the bake turned out to be pretty darn good!
When I took photo of this bread, I've already eaten two of them! Warm bread is so soft and fluffy and yummy!
When I first saw the name of this bake, it wasn't bread as stated in my title, but it's actually a cake, and after reading the recipe and trying out the recipe, I feel that this is definitely not a cake but a bread. I wonder why the author called it a cake?
Anyway, putting the name issue aside, after failing the first try, I felt that the method of baking this bread to be too complicated and troublesome. So far whenever I see people baking bread, it's just about mixing, kneading, rising, kneading and shaping. I went around researching and decided to change the steps, I hope this will encourage more people to bake this and delicious bread!
Grab one roll~!
Here are 3 major changes I've made:
- Instead of creaming the butter, sugar and egg, I chose to dissolve them (except the egg) into milk and mix the egg and flour in.
- Instead of shaping the dough as stated in the recipe (which I couldn't really understand), I simply rolled it out into a large rectangle, sprinkle the filling, roll it up then cut into rolls. I also baked them in a tin with them arranged together.
- I changed the streusel filling into a simple sugar-cocoa powder-cinnamon mix. I brushed the rolled-out dough with melted butter before sprinkling the filling so that it will stick.
Chocolatey, soft and fluffy 😀
This bread is best served on that day it's bake. It was a little hard on the outside but still soft on the inside after 1 day. After 2 days, it had become a little too tough for my liking, so I'm looking for another way to make a much softer bread with a longer shelf-life.
After this bake, I realized bread-baking is very interesting and pretty fun. This is my first attempt in bread-baking and I'm sure there would be many more to come!
Let's get started!
Start off with milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in small pot.
Bring it to a simmer - making sure the sugar and salt has dissolved and the butter has melted - then transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Let the mixture cool slightly (I take this time to wash the pot - by then the mixture should have cooled till very warm but not hot).
Add in vanilla extract/paste. I'm using vanilla paste here - it gives the bread very beautiful specks of vanilla seeds.
Stir in some flour - the colour will lighten to a pale beige colour.
Stir in ¾ of a beaten egg. The remaining ¼ egg is used as an egg wash later on.
Dump in more flour.
And yeast. (I'm using instant dried yeast.)
In general, there are 2 kinds of yeast:
Active dried yeast - this type of yeast, as its name suggests, requires activation. If you're using this kind of yeast, add the yeast into the some warm water and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes till foamy. Heat the milk and salt together (omit the water and sugar that you used to activate the yeast), add in the flour, egg and then the yeast mixture.
Instant dried yeast - this type of yeast does not require any activation. It is often added in together with flour, hence I'm adding it together with my second addition of flour when the mixture is still warm.
(Source: The Fresh Loaf)
It took me really long to figure out the difference between the 2... I initially thought they were the same! :p
Add in more flour, mixing thoroughly after each addition until you get a soft dough and that it doesn't stick to the wooden spoon anymore.
Something like this!
Next your turn it out and knead until it's soft and elastic.
After kneading, you'll want to let it proof in a very warm place.
It's ready once it's been proofed double its size! Takes about 1 hour to 1 ½ hour.
Take out the dough, knead till smooth and roll it into a large rectangle.
(This photo is actually from my 4th attempt - I rolled it larger and thinner so that I get more swirls in the bread.)
Brush melted butter all over the dough then sprinkle a sugar-cocoa-cinnamon mix evenly on the dough.
Roll it up and cut them into 1-inch / 1 ¼-inch thick rolls.
(This photo is actually from my 3rd attempt. I didn't roll the dough thin and big enough so the swirl is not as pretty. And I only managed to get 6 rolls from the 3rd batch and each roll proofed to be the size slightly smaller than a fist. I managed to get 10 rolls from the 4th batch as I rolled the dough thinner and bigger. However I couldn't fit all 10 rolls in the 7-inch tin I'm using. You'd prob need a 9-inch one instead.)
Cover and let proof till double in size again, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes till golden brown. Serve warm!
I'm submitting this to:
- The Home Bakers #10 - the original recipe can be found here, baked by lovely Anuja from Simple Baking. Check out all other members' bakes here!
- Twelve Loaves hosted by Cake Duchess, Creative Culinary and Lifesafeast.
- Bake Your Own Bread hosted by Heather of Girlichef, Michelle from Delectable Musings and Connie from My Discovery of Bread
- Wild Yeast Blog/YeastSpotting hosted by Susan
Danish Chocolate Swirl Coffee Bread (makes 6 - 10 rolls)
adapted from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas.
Note: This is my first time baking bread and I took about 3 tries to get it somewhat right. If you've any advice on kneading, proofing, etc please share with all of us! 🙂 If you've not baked bread before, here are some videos that I found very useful when trying to bake bread:
- Epicurious - I found the videos on kneading, first rise and second rise very useful.
- How to Make Homemade Bread by riboflavinjoe - a very simple video that teaches how to make basic bread, but I learned the method of proofing from here.
- How to Make Bread from Scratch by TheCraftyGemini - a great video with lots of useful information on bread-baking.
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon water
40 grams unsalted butter, softened and cubed
2 tablespoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups to 1 ¾ cups plain flour
¾ beaten egg
½ teaspoon instant dried yeast
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ beaten egg
1 tablespoon almond flakes
Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius and boil a kettle of water. Lightly oil/butter a large heatproof bowl (to be used for proofing the dough later) and a 7-inch or 9-inch baking tin.
Combine the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let it cool till very warm but not hot.
Add in vanilla extract and ½ cup of flour and mix with a wooden spoon till the flour has been fully incorporated. The mixture will turn into a pale beige colour.
Add in the beaten egg and mix well with the wooden spoon. Add in another ½ cup of flour and the yeast and mix well. The mixture should now become more sticky. Add in more flour, in ¼ cup increments, mixing well after each addition. Stop adding when the dough forms a soft dough and no longer sticks to the wooden spoon.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flour your hands and the dough and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary. The dough will be a little sticky. This process will take about 5 to 8 minutes. (In general, I kneaded my dough about 300 times but my kneading skills aren't very good so most probably you'll knead lesser times than me.)
Once the dough is smooth and elastic, shape it into a round oval with a smooth surface at the top. Place it in the greased heatproof bowl and brush the top lightly with more oil/melted butter.
Cover the bowl with a tea-towel. Turn off the oven and place the bowl of dough inside the warm oven. Pour 2 large cups of boiling water and put them in the oven on both sides of the bowl of dough. The water will help keep the dough moist. Shut the oven door and let the dough rise for 1h to 1 ½ hour, till the dough has double in size.
While the dough is proofing, combine the filling ingredients - sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the oven. Turn on the oven and preheat at 100 degrees Celsius.
Punch the dough down gently - you'll hear a soft hissing sound - to release some of the air. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle - about ¼ inch thick, so that you will get a beautiful swirl. The dough will keep shrinking back, but just keep rolling! Pour the melted butter all over the dough and spread it around with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the chocolate filling evenly and roll the dough up, tucking it tightly. (I like to roll up from the short side so that I get a nice big swirl, but if you like smaller rolls, roll up from the long side.) Cut the dough into 1-inch or 1 ¼-inch thick slices and arrange them, cut side up, on the grease baking tin. Cover the tin with a kitchen towel.
Turn off the oven and place the baking tin in the warm oven with another 2 cups of boiling water. Let the dough rise double its size, another 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Brush the bread with the ¼ beaten egg and sprinkle the almond flakes all over. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack. The bread is best serve fresh and warm from the oven, but it can be stored in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.