Creating the recipe of the perfect chocolate sweet bread is one of those projects I have been working on for a few years. With several attempts behind my back I can honestly say it’s not easy to make a chocolate sweet braided bread that can meet all the requirements. My braids were either too soft (the loaf lost its shape) or too hard; the dough was too crumbly and dried out, or it splitted during the baking process. I tried to use cocoa powder and butter for the filling, it didn’t work. I spread the dough with only melted chocolate – it was too concentrated. I failed many times, but I didn’t give up.
Last week I set about a new trial and, what a surprise, the result has more than fulfilled my expectations. It stands all the demands I expect from a chocolate sweet bread: it’s soft, not crumbly, not too sweet and yeast’s taste doesn’t dominate the pastry. Maybe it’s not flawless, but the best of all the chocolate sweet loafs I have ever made.
Though the recipe is a little long and may seem to be complicated, but appearances are deceptive. There is just one thing that makes this sweet bread different from the usual yeast pastries, namely the so called “cold rising”. As the dough contains more butter than a traditional sweet bread, it shall be proofed at low temperature to prevent butter from melting. For this reason it’s recommended letting the dough rise in the fridge overnight, so it can double in size.