Chocolate Chip Braided Loaf

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Ingredients:

Yields Two 1-Pound Loaves

  • 415g White Bread Flour, unbleached
  • 250g Whole Wheat Bread Flour, unbleached
  • 17g salt
  • 17g instant dry yeast ("rapid rise")
  • 130g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 540g Whole Milk
  • 7g Vanilla Extract
  • 130g Semi or Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 egg, beaten
 

These Chocolate Chip Braided Loaves, slightly staled, make delicious pain perdu or bread pudding. For a delicious nut loaf, substitute walnuts or your favorite nut for the chocolate chips.

If you're a first-time or novice baker, don't be thrown off by the fact that we measure our ingredients by weight. When it comes to baking, this is the best way to get results! For more information about weighing your ingredients when baking, read our article.

  1. In the bowl of a tabletop mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, mix all of the dry ingredients together, except the chocolate chips, just until the salt, yeast and sugar are distributed evenly.
  2. Warm the whole milk on the stovetop until it is tepid (approximately 75°F).
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment, if using a tabletop mixer, or with your hands, add in the milk and vanilla extract and knead until the dough resembles a smooth elastic dough.
  4. After the strength of the dough is developed, knead in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic or a damp kitchen towel and leave the dough at room temperature for approximately 45 minutes.
  6. At this time, give the dough a punch by gently pressing down on the dough to release carbon dioxide that has accumulated during fermentation.
  7. Cover the bowl again and leave the dough to ferment for approximately 45 minutes more at room temperature. Alternatively, the dough could be refrigerated at this point for up to 18 hours. Note: Fermenting the dough at a cool temperature will develop more flavor. If done, be sure to allow for approximately one hour for the dough to warm up once it is removed from the refrigerator the next day and before dividing.
  8. When the dough is properly fermented and has an airy quality to it, divide it using a bench knife and a scale into six rectangular pieces weighing 250 grams each.
  9. Preshape the pieces into a log shape approximately 4” long. (See How to Pre-Shape a Baguette for the technique.) Leave the dough seam-side down on the table and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let it rest and relax for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven with a baking stone to bake at 425°F for at least 30 minutes.
  11. Give the dough its final shape by rolling the logs into strands approximately 7-8” in length with a slight taper at the ends. Then proceed with braiding three strands together, following our Challah Braiding Guide.
  12. Once the loaf is braided, place it into a lightly greased loaf pan and cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Note: Be sure to keep the braid shorter in length than the loaf pan so it can fit easily inside. If it is too long, simply fold the ends of the braid under itself and place the loose ends down into the loaf pan.
  13. Let the dough rise again for approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. 
  14. Prepare the egg wash: beat one egg with a whisk until it runs very thin, like water. 
  15. When the loaf is ready to be baked, it should have a light, airy quality to it and a small indentation made with your finger along the side of the loaf should slowly fill back out. Before baking, use a pastry brush to give it a light but thorough egg wash. 
  16. Place the loaf pans directly on to the preheated baking stone and they will bake for about 25 minutes until they are a dark golden brown on top and the sides are firmly set.
  17. Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool fully before enjoying.
  18. This loaf should be stored wrapped in plastic at room temperature and is best eaten within a day or two. For longer storage, double-wrap the loaves in plastic and freeze.

Braided Loaf

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Chocolate Chip Braided Loaf

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