This is not a cake, nor is it sweet. It is actual bread. Happy baking!!
Alright friends, it’s time to get real.
Let’s talk about this bread. It’s a treat for sure but only in the sense that it’s really good, gluten free bread. It’s actually really good for you. Somehow it’s dense, but fluffy with a high protein flour and whole rolled oats that don’t mess up the texture – you can’t even tell a little bit that they weren’t blended. It isn’t sweet, and it actually rises!
This craving actually started last night. Last night, I used up all the frozen bananas that I had, to make, AND FAIL (really badly) with a chocolate banana oat loaf. Man did that suck. Here I was the next day, with a massive craving, a drive for chocolate, but a desire for something healthy as well.
Unsatisfied by my 2am failure with the banana, the craving continued (doesn’t it always?). The devil on one shoulder was screaming, “DO IT… seriously dude, just do it. You’re not far from a convenient store… just buy the chocolate bar”…
I almost did, too. But, with a little extra time on my hands before work I went searching through my cupboards, and somehow avoided the chocolate chips. I swear it had a halo around it: the cocoa powder. “Hmm…. what could I make?”, I though.
That’s when the idea was conceived. Chocolate BREAD (that was the idea – not the product). Having no idea if it would work I searched Pinterest for the perfect bread base and then started modifying. Let me tell you, it’s a small loaf, but it’s a perfect loaf.
It’s pretty mini (try doubling the recipe if you like), but hey. Here it is. Cocoa bread. Not a chocolate loaf; not cake or dessert; not sweet. Not chocolate bread. It’s cocoa bread. An actual bread loaf. K, I’m done.
Taste: Kind of like rye, slight sour taste, strong from acidity in the cocoa
Texture: dense and chewy, not too moist, definitely not dry, spongy
When all was said and done, I had a cute cylindrical loaf. It had everything it needed to have: a rise, not crumbly, dense and chewy, healthy, and all with a limitless list of possibilities.
Banana Nutella sandwich
Chocolate cream cheese
Fruit and cream
Peanut butter banana
Peanut butter (any nut butter) and Nutella!
Anything else really as well. Just because it’s cocoa doesn’t mean it has to be sweet (My uncle’s famous chili uses cocoa as a secret ingredient – shh I didn’t tell you that! :P)
red meat sandwich
etc., etc., etc.
Let your imagination run wild and ENJOY this beautiful creation!
1 cup boiling water
1 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
2 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour may be used and will create a heartier, chewier bread)
1/2 cup warm water (not hot and not cold)
4-5 tablespoons coconut oil (or any other oil – use olive oil for an interesting bitter taste)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed (use more if you’d rather have something closer to chocolate – be careful: brown sugar can make a baked good dense – maybe try white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or instant)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oatmeal and stir to combine. Set aside and let cool until about room temperature. I’d say about 20 minutes, to be safe.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, 1/2 cup water, oil, brown sugar, instant dry yeast, salt, and cooled oatmeal. Knead for 5 to 7 minutes on low speed (of a stand mixer – with a flat hook), or with a silicon spatula (it won’t stick to the dough) until a moist, shaggy dough forms. The dough is fairly wet and sticky
*Resist the urge to use more dough – unless it’s too wet to combine* – when kneading bread/dough the consistency will become thicker and less sticky as you go. Here is a video if this is your first time: Tadda. To be honest, I leave my dough in the bowl and use the silicone spatula to fold. This will go one for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough loses some of its moisture.
After kneading, place the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Here it will rise, and hopefully double in size. Keep it in a warm area – ie. do not place in the fridge yet. At this point I actually went to work for a short shift and left the dough on the counter for about 6 hours. You can stop waiting after about an hour and a half. If you plan to not use the dough for a while – more than, say, an afternoon, then place it in the fridge after 2 hours.
After the dough has doubled and you plan to use it, turn it out onto a floured surface to knead for 3 minutes (or leave it in the bowl and use the silicon spatula again.
Using your hangs, shape the dough into a cylinder, slightly smaller than the container you will be using to bake with.
At this point you can place the dough into a GREASED loaf tin and top with whatever you like (nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, or savory spices – try cayenne for a kick if you’re daring). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about another hour. Ensure that your dough is at least room temperature – not cold – before placing in the oven.
In the last minutes of rising, preheat oven to 350F. Place your dough in the oven, once preheated, and bake for about 30 minutes or until domed and puffy. The internal temperature should reach 210F. Let bread cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.