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Balthazar Chocolate Bread

Balthazar Chocolate Bread

From the renowned Balthazar restaurant, this feather-light yet rich loaf is laced with chunks of gooey 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate.



  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup SCHARFFEN BERGER Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup bread starter
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 oz. SCHARFFEN BERGER 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks
  • Vegetable oil for bowl
  • 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs. heavy cream
  • 2 tbs. turbinado sugar


    To Make the Starter

    1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Stir in flour until completely incorporated. Cover; proof at room temperature 4 to 6 hours. Store in a plastic container, refrigerated, with plastic wrap covering but not touching the starter. Once a week, stir 1/4 cup flour to feed starter.

    To Make the Bread

    1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine bread, flour, cocoa powder, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup water, yeast, and bread starter. Combine on low speed for 5 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes.

    2. Add salt and butter, and mix on medium speed until the dough develops a sheen, about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate. Continue mixing on medium speed until completely combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl; place dough in bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 3 hours.

    3. Turn out dough and fold into thirds, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 30 minutes.

    4. Butter the loaf pans and coat them with remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Divide dough in half; divide each half into four equal portions. Roll each piece of dough on a clean work surface in a circular motion, forming a tight ball. Place four pieces of dough, smooth sides up, in each loaf pan. Cover pans tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

    5. Position oven rack in center of oven; heat to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine egg yolk and cream. Lightly brush risen loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Bake until loaves have a slightly hollow sound when you tap tops with your finger, 40-45 minutes; turn out loaves. Return loaves to wire rack; let cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic and store up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

    Special Equipment

    • Two 6 3/4 x 3 x 2-1/4-inch loaf pans

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