Anxiety hits the best of us. Bread with chocolate helps that.
In the depths of my anxiety, and at the peaks of my joyous moments, I continually find myself gliding around the kitchen. Always with an apron. Twirling (yes, twirling) from the stove to the sink to the counter to the garden. I stir, chop, mix, and bake until the emotions of the day release.
Sometimes it's pretty. Like bread with chocolate.
And sometimes I ugly cry into the mashed potatoes. Ain't no shame in it.
The first time I had bread with chocolate was in France. In my early twenties, two friends and I backpacked our way through France, Italy, and Spain. France was the first stop and though I loved it in many ways, I despised the breakfast menus. Pastry. Coffee. Yum, yes. But sustaining calories for backpacking through Europe, no.
Still, I ate my bread with chocolate and sipped my espresso and eagerly awaited a meal that involved bacon, eggs, cheese, and vegetables. Since that trip a decade ago, I still long for the warm, soft bread that is peppered with chunks of dark chocolate.
I'll just eat mine after a massive breakfast, thanks.
Bread with Chocolate
I don't often eat unsoaked or unspotted bread, but when I do, you know it involves chocolate.
You will need:
– 2 cups warm milk
– 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
– 2 tablespoons dehydrated whole cane sugar
– 4 tablespoons butter, softened plus more for brushing the loaves
– 2 teaspoons sea salt
– 1 1/2 cups whole grain einkorn flour (or flour of choice)
– 3 cups organic all purpose flour (or flour of choice)
– 6 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1. In a stand mixer, combine the milk, yeast, sugar, and butter. Mix to combine and allow it to sit for 10 minutes, until frothy.
2. Add in the salt and the flours. Using the dough hook, knead the mixture for 5 minutes, until elastic and smooth. The dough should be pulling cleanly off the sides of the bowl. If it's not, add a bit more flour. Then, add in the chocolate and mix it again to incorporate it deeply into the dough.
3. Cover the mixing bowl and allow it to rise for 2 hours.
4. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and use buttered hands to gently divide it into 4 even pieces. Carefully stretch or roll the dough into an oval shape, about 6″ wide and 3/4″ thick. Move the oval onto a piece of parchment paper and repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.
5. Gently brush the surface of the loaves with melted butter. Cover the loaves and allow them to rise for another 1 1/2 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. Carefully lift up the parchment paper and loaf onto a baking sheet (you can usually fit 2 loaves per baking sheet). Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Deeeeeelicious eaten warm. Right off the pan, if you're an animal like Stuart.
Also, if you even think about eating this bread with chocolate without a strong espresso, we're in trouble here. It's essential. We need all the soul-enriching coffee we can get out hands on, man. Why?
This week, we've got a massive project on the homestead. I'll share with you as much as I'm allowed, but here's a few hints:
- A crew of 17 is arriving tomorrow
- I'm going to be cooking
So, all that to say, there are a lot of emotions rumbling around in my heart tonight – anxiety, naturally, being one of them. What if I fail? What if I can't do it? What if my children are somehow damaged by the time it takes me to do this? What if we get behind on homeschooling? What if I just shrivel up and die of exhaustion? … to name but a few.
Yet, I am comforted.
Because there is bread with chocolate.
And a whole lotta Jesus.