Weekend Sourdough: Make Chocolate-Raspberry Nutella Bread
This is a deep, dark bread that's only mildly sweet, despite the sweet-sounding name. In other words, the bread is rich with flavor but not cloyingly sweet. The bread is great for breakfast or even alongside dinner or with tea. Cocoa powder provides much of the chocolate depth, and whole-wheat flour provides a slight nuttiness that intensifies the flavor of the chocolate-hazelnut spread. A little raspberry fruit spread lends a nice fruitiness that contrasts with the chocolate. The bread isn't complicated to make. I mix up the dough on Saturday afternoon or evening, pop it in a loaf pan, and then let it sit in our chilly sunroom or in the refrigerator overnight. On Sunday morning, I pull the pan from the cold, leave the dough on the counter for most of the day (my kitchen is usually about 66-68 degrees) to let it rise, and then bake the bread in the late afternoon or evening when I have the oven on for dinner. The scent of the fresh bread baking is incredible, and, warm from the oven, the bread is fantastic "as is" or slathered with butter. If you can wait, though, the bread will slice better and far more neatly once it has cooled. Then, just pop a slice into the toaster for a chocolate-raspberry fix!
Sourdough Chocolate-Raspberry Nutella Bread -- Makes 1 Loaf
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of Nutella or similar chocolate-hazelnut spread, warmed slightly--about 15
seconds--in the microwave
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
1 cup of white whole-wheat flour (or use regular whole-wheat, if that's what you have)
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients listed above until well blended. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let the mixture sit for at least an hour. When you're ready, add:
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
Mix the salt and flour into the dough and knead the dough for 3-5 minutes, kneading in up to 1/2 cup of additional flour. The exact amount of flour will depend on how loose/stiff your starter/discard was and the conditions of your kitchen. The dough should feel a little tacky but not super sticky.
Flour your counter a little and press/roll the dough into a rectangle about 10 inches long and 6 inches wide and a little less than an inch thick. Spread the top of the dough with:
3 tablespoons of raspberry fruit spread
Then drizzle/spread on top of the raspberry spread:
1 tablespoon of nutella or chocolate-hazelnut spread (warm it a little, first) mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of milk
Starting from a long side, roll up one end of the rectangle toward the middle, stopping in the middle. Then roll up the other long side to the middle, stopping when it meets the other rolled part of the dough. Fold up each short end toward the middle (across the two parts you rolled). The seams don't need to match or squish together in the middle. In fact, you should have a seam in the middle. Some of the filling will almost certainly ooze out. Don't worry about it, you're not making a jelly roll, and the excess will help the cinnamon-sugar topping adhere. Just smear the excess chocolate-raspberry mixture over the dough with your fingers. Then spritz a large loaf pan (9 x 5-inches) with non-stick spray and place the dough into the pan, with the folded parts/seam on top. Sprinkle the loaf with a little cinnamon sugar (1 tablespoon of cinnamon mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar), cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator or other cold place overnight or for at least 8 hours.
The next day, let the cold dough rise on the counter until it just reaches the top of the loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread for about 45 minutes or until it's firm to the touch and it reaches an internal temperature of 190-200. The bread will slice best if you first allow it to cool completely.