Chocolate, Cherry & Macadamia Bread

Holiday seasons usually also means baking seasons for me. I love busying myself in the kitchen because that helps to distract me from work and all things else. Christmas season is one of the best seasons to do baking for because that’s also when I am clearing my leave (so there’s more time to experiment), and I can have a good excuse to bake my favourite Christmas goodies again.

This year, I decided to take a slightly longer leave in December, one reason was to be able to take a holiday overseas with my family, the other to stay clear from work. But I can’t sit down and do nothing. Baking or cooking something in the kitchen is one of the must-dos in my list. This chocolate, cherry and macadamia bread has been on my mind for a long time, and I finally have the time to whip it out, gather the ingredients and start baking. It’s quite a dense, heavy bread, crumbly, but the chocolate taste is omph! For chocolate lovers out there, this bread recipe is a must-try!

The steps below might look complicated, with three different types of dough and starters to prepare, but once you get into the groove, it’s actually quite straightforward. 🙂

Ingredients (starter):

  • Active dried yeast (1.5 tsp / 5g)
  • Bread flour: 100g
  • Lukewarm water: 150ml
  • Caster sugar: 1 tsp

Ingredients (butter mixture):

  • Unsalted butter: 100g
  • Water: 100ml
  • Dark chocolate: 50g
  • Honey: 1 tbsp

Ingredients (dough):

  • Plain flour: 350g
  • Cocoa powder: 30g
  • Caster sugar: 100g
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Egg yolk: 2
  • Dried cherry: 80g, roughly chopped
  • Macadamia nut: 80g, roasted, roughly chopped
  • Milk: for brushing

Method:

  1. For the starter, whisk together yeast, bread flour, lukewarm water & 1 tsp caster sugar. Let stand 20min in room temperature till bubbly & spongy.
  2. For the butter mixture, stir butter, water, dark chocolate & honey together over low heat in a saucepan till smooth. Leave to cool.
  3. For the dough, whisk together plain flour, cocoa powder, 100g caster sugar & salt in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add in starter dough, butter mixture & egg yolks. Stir till dough comes together into a ball.
  5. Cover dough and let stand 10min. Lightly oil hands & gently knead dough in bowl for 20sec. Repeat process of standing & kneading twice more.
  6. Let dough rise, covered for 45-60min undisturbed at room temperature till doubled.
  7. Gently deflate by folding it over onto itself. Knead in cherries & macadamia nuts.
  8. Place onto greased baking sheet. Cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise 3omin till doubled.
  9. Brush bread with milk. Slash the bread a few times with a sharp knife.
  10. Bake in preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 20min.
  11. Reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake another 15min.
  12. Remove bread from oven when done. Baked bread should sound hollow when tapped.

Serving:
1 large loaf (about 15 large slices); 2 small loaves (about 10 small slices per loaf)zzz

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