Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

My wife, who is an excellent cook in general and a particularly outstanding baker, made an Italian bread for me for Valentine's Day: Chocolate Walnut. It's not sweet, not a cake, but a dense, chewy dark loaf that looks like rye but has a zing to it.

You should all be so lucky as I.


Dan Gambiera said...


Steve Perry said...

Here's the recipe -- and it's not German, but Italian, my mistake:

2-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (or 18 grams fresh)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup. + 1 tablespoon warm water
4-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder -- Dutch process
2 teaspoons salt
1/1/4 cups warm water
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 cup walnuts

By mixer:

Stir the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in 1/3 cup + tablespoon warm water in a large mixing bowl, let stand until foamy, about ten minutes. Mix the flour, 1/2 cup + two tablespoons of sugar, the cocoa, salt and walnuts into a separate mixer bowl. Stir 1-1/4 cup water, the egg yolk and butter into the dissolved yeast. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix with the paddle until well blended. Change to the dough hook and knead 2 minutes at low, then 2 minutes at medium until well blended. Dough should be velvety, moist, and elastic.

First rise: Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, let rise until doubled, about two hours.

Punch the dough down and cut in half. On a lightly floured surface, Shape two pieces into rounds or ovals and place on oiled baking sheets. Cover with a town and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Baking: Heat the oven to 450 F. (Put a pan of water on the lower rack.) Bake fifteen minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 F and bake thirty minutes more. Cool completely on a rack.

Dan Gambiera said...