Rich, moist chocolate sweet rolls loaded with chocolate chips and tart dried cherries, then topped with sweet cherry preserves, crunchy almonds and a drizzle of icing.
January’s Bread Baking Babe is Jamie, Life’s a Feast, and she chose Chocolate Prune Bread from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François. I couldn’t resist baking along with Jamie, the Babes, and the other Bread Baking Buddies. I didn’t have prunes in the house, so I substituted dried cherries for the prunes, and instead of a loaf of bread, I decided to turn the dough in to chocolate sweet rolls.
I’ve talked before how much I love the Artisan Bread in Five recipes, so it was fun to try this sweet chocolate bread. The bread tastes like a cross between yeast bread and a chocolate quick bread, or rich brownie. You mix the dough and let it first rise on day one, then put it in the fridge and make the sweet rolls any time within the next five days.
Even though you roll up the dough, you don’t get defined layers like you would in a cinnamon roll. It’s just a method used to distribute the cherries and shape the dough.
My dough didn’t rise much in the bucket after mixing the dough, nor after the dough was shaped, but the rolls do get a nice oven spring.
This is more of a dessert sweet roll than a breakfast roll. I don’t eat chocolate very often for breakfast, but one of my boys did gobble up one of these rolls before school.
I on the other hand waited until lunch, and I may have had another for a snack before dinner. Right now I’m using all my willpower to skip dessert. Luckily I gave away some to the neighbors, so hopefully my boys will eat them and they’ll be gone before lunch tomorrow.
- 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Red Star active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 1/2 all-purpose flour (I only used 5 cups because of my dry climate)
- 3/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup cherry preserves
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
Mixing and storing the dough
- Mix the oil, yeast, salt and sugar with the water in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and the chocolate chips without kneading, using a spoon or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). If you are not using the machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for approximately 2 hours. (My dough did not rise very much.)
- Refrigerate the container of dough overnight, and use over the next 5 days.
- On baking day, generously grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with non stick spray.
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and divide it in half. Dust one half with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. On a lightly flour surface, with floured hands pat into a 12 inch square.
- Sprinkle the dried cherries over the dough and roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Using dental floss or knife, cut dough into 9 pieces. Place each roll cut side up in prepared pan. Top each roll with a teaspoon or two of cherry jam and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°. Bake uncovered, 40 - 45 minutes or until the middle roll is firm to the touch.
- Whisk powdered sugar and milk in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm sweet rolls.
Stop by Life’s a Feast at the end of the month for a roundup of all the delicious chocolate breads the Bread Baking Buddies whipped up this month.