Thursday, 24 February 2011

Chai fruit and chocolate bread

Once again, I am cutting it extremely fine on the We Should Cocoa challenge. But trust me, this is worth the wait, though I say so myself. The moment I saw the challenge, I thought of tea bread. Sweet bread dotted with juicy tea-soaked raisins. I also thought of this Cinnamon raisin bread, with a pretty swirl of cinnamon in the middle. And I thought of chai tea, one of my new favourite things, which is already full of yummy spices.
So I did a combination, with a bit of chocolate for good measure. I was a bit worried that it would be overkill of different flavours, but actually it worked really well. Every mouthful is a bit different, so it's quite exciting. Are you going to get chocolate? Plump juicy fruit? Citrusy mixed peel? Cinnamony squidgy bits? Oh, and when you toast it (which you must), the chocolate melts! So delicious.
I used the enriched dough recipe from the Cambridge Cookery School for cinnamon buns as a starting point for the dough. I was going to use fresh yeast but when I defrosted it, it turned to liquid! Not quite sure what happened there (any hints would be gratefully received on that one). So dried yeast it was. Maybe next time!

Chai fruit and chocolate bread
Makes 1 large loaf

100g raisins 
100g currants 
1 cup of chai tea (300ml)
14g dried yeast (or 25g fresh yeast)
75g butter 
250ml milk 
45g caster sugar 
1 egg, beaten 
450g plain bread flour 
a pinch of salt 
50g dark chocolate 
50g mixed peel
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the raisins and currants in a bowl and pour over the tea. Leave to soak overnight. When you begin the bread, put them in a sieve to drain. 


Cover the yeast with a little warm water and cover with a cling film. Leave for a few minutes to "sponge" (get a bit bubbly). Meanwhile, heat the milk, butter and sugar gently in a saucepan - you want them to be just above blood temperature. Then add the egg.
Put the flour in a bowl, make a well and add the liquid mixture and salt. Mix it all together. Knead in the raisins, currants, chopped chocolate and mixed peel. Then knead for about 5 minutes on a floured surface. Knead in more flour if necessary, but try to use as little as possible. Put back in the bowl, cover and leave to rise for about an hour. 


Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 2cm thick. (Mine was a bit too thin, I think.) Moisten the dough, either with a little milk or tea, and then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. 


Roll up (from the long end, so you get a long thin sausage, not a short, fat one). Tuck the ends underneath. Place the loaf in a large bread tin* and leave to rise for about half an hour. 


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Cook the loaf for about 45 minutes. 


*The chocolate does make the loaf stick to the tin, so next time I'd line it with greaseproof or parchment paper.


Serve with chai tea!

15 comments:

  1. Love the cinnamon in there. Looks wonderful.

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  2. That looks so delicious! What a wonderful bread with that combination of chocolate & dried fruit.

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  3. Oh my gosh - I'm sold!!!! Toasted sounds too good to be true and I want some for my breakfast now (in my head this means I get to eat chocolate first thing in the morning!)
    Thanks for taking part Nora ;0)

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  4. I'm loving your blog, I'm following!

    Would love you to enter my amazing GIVEAWAY- to win a pasta making course and meal with wine for two:

    http://thoroughlymodernmilly5.blogspot.com/2011/02/best-gievaway-yet-ida-restaurant-pasta.html

    xx

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  5. Gosh, that looks amazing. I am loving this one daaaahling.
    *kisses* HH

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  6. That looks like a loaf to die for Nora, especially with the cinnamon rolled into it and the chai soaked raisins. You are by no means the last to get an entry in this time, so no worries on that score. Thanks for entering.

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  7. This sounds like a great set of flavours--all the favourite tea time items in one baked good! I love the picture of the bread sailing majestically above the neckline of the pan.

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  8. That looks absolutely amazing. I can just imagine the different mouthfuls as you described - chocolate, plump dried fruit, candied peel, oh so delicious. The texture looks amazing too - soft and more-ish with a lovely crust too. Must make this soon!

    On the yeast - I think it always does that when defrosted. I never normally use fresh yeast myself, but when I defrosted a bit it did what you said which was very disconcerting. I didn't know that was going to happen, I'm not sure if the yeast would still work - I guess you could try making a sponge of it if you've got any more in the freezer. There's a discussion about freezing yeast, or not, here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2029/freeze-or-not-freeze-yeast

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  9. Sounds and looks amazing!

    Maria
    x

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  10. this looks fabulous, cant wait to try it myself

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  11. oh yum - the precise moment I started to drool was when you said that the chocolate melts when you toast it!

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  12. It looks so delicious and fruity, I really do love fruit loaf and will have to try out your recipe once I get my hands on some Chai tea, I seem to have about every tea going other than that!

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  13. My mum used to buy me a chocolate loaf from the supermarket but this looks much better. On my "must bake" list now :)

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  14. flavourful combination looks fabulous
    lovely site

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