Chocolate Cinnamon Raisin Christmas Bread
TIPS: 1) Have all ingredients at room temperature. 2) Aerate your flour before measuring. 3) Chocolate burns easily - melt is slowly.
- 2 cups bread flour (all purpose flour works too)
- 1 packet (2 tsp/7 gm) instant yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk (low fat or whole milk) heated to 120-130° F
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- about 1/2 cup additional flour
- 3/4 cup moist golden raisins (I use Sun-Maid)
- 1 1/2 ounces sweet dark chocolate (I use part of a 63% chocolate bar)
- 3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process is best)
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- Egg wash: 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water
- Glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar + about 1 Tablespoon milk
- Melt the 1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate and set aside to cool.
- Combine flour, yeast, sugar & salt in a mixing bowl.
- Add warm milk followed by oil, egg, and vanilla.
- Beat with electric mixer on medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Stir in enough flour to form a mass, followed by raisins.
- Transfer to a floured surface and knead 100 turns (2 minutes).
- Cover dough with plastic and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Meantime, line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Combine cooled chocolate and softened butter & set aside. In a small cup, combine brown sugar, cocoa & cinnamon. Set aside.
- Divide dough in half and roll/stretch each half into a rough 9-inch square.
- Spread each square with butter/chocolate mixture all the way to edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top, all the way to the edges.
- Roll each half into a long strip, place the strips side by side and twist them into a spiral loaf, tucking in the edges. (see photos)
- Place into the loaf pan. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minute to 1 hour until it doubles in size.
- Brush top of loaf with egg wash. Bake in preheated oven at 375° F for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, cover with a foil tent to prevent over-browning.
- Remove to a cooling rack and let rest 10 minutes. Top with glaze.
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