This dessert bread is loosely inspired by a Jamie Oliver brunch bread recipe, but that’s about where the similarity ends. It combines chocolate, yeasty bread, and berries to make a rich, gooey, luscious dessert.
- 150 to 200 grams of medium-dark chocolate with nuts in (I used ¾ of a block of Cadbury Old Gold with Almonds)
- 300 grams of frozen mixed berries
- 500 grams plain flour
- 300 to 320 ml tepid water
- 2 yeast sachets (14 grams)
- A teaspoon of sugar
- A teaspoon of salt
- Cocoa powder or drinking chocolate for dusting
Start by making a basic bread dough: Measure out the flour, and add the salt. Mix about ½ a cup of the tepid water with the sugar, and add the yeast. Mix, and let the yeast activate by going frothy. Add to the flour and mix in. Add the rest of the tepid water, and mix in.
Tip the dough out of the bowl, and knead for about 10 minutes. Use your hands. Put some back into it!
Set the ball of dough aside to prove (that’s baker talk for rising) for about ½ an hour. You will find all sorts of advice to cover it with cling film, or a damp tea towl. I never bother. Things seem to work Ok. Cover it in a really hot country or on a hot day. Otherwise, sitting in a warmish place is fine.
While the dough is rising, smash the heck out of the chocolate. I used the old faithful meat mallet, but anything similar will do.
You want a bowl full of small pieces when you are done. To this, add your berries, and leave them to defrost. Cut up anything that’s really big.
Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a long thin strip. This needs to be about 15 cm (6 inches) wide, and about a metre (roughly 3 feet) long. Flouring the work surface might help. I don’t bother, but it depends on how badly things stick.
Spread the smashed chocolate and berry mix over this. Spread fairly wide – you don’t want this all sitting in the middle.
Roll the strip in the short direction, a bit like making a Swiss Roll, so that you have a long thin snake with the chocolate / berry mix layered inside instead of all in a lump (you will inevitably find that a great deal does end up in the centre. Don’t worry if this happens. Then roll the snake into a spiral / snail, and transfer to a floured oven tray or baking dish. It does not look all that wonderful at this point, but don’t worry.
Dust the top with cocoa powder or drinking chocolate. The choice depends on the sweetness you prefer. Drinking chocolate (powder) normally has sugar in, so it will give a sweeter result. It is a dessert, so sweetness is OK! Dot over a few pieces of leftover chocolate, if you have any.
Set this aside and let it have a second rising, for perhaps ½ hour. While it’s rising, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (Medium).
After the rising, bake the bread in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, checking during the last few minutes. If in doubt, a few minutes longer is better, it helps make sure the dough is all cooked in the centre. If it springs a leak and lets the gooey chocolate berry mix out, then that’s the cooks treat.
Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 to 30 minutes – best eaten warm rather than hot. You’ll see that during the rising and cooking, the dough has grown so we have white streaks where the cocoa didn’t cover. Transfer, carefully, to a serving platter that lets you show your creation off.
Serve at the table, with a good vanilla ice cream or, even better if you can get it, a berry swirled ice-cream. Cut a little off the spirals, working in toward the centre. Or, cut a wedge and show the layers inside.
Bet you can’t stop at a single serve.