The days are all merging into one for me at the moment, I keep the kids busy in the days, then baking once they are in bed and then to my computer after that. I am shattered but really enjoying myself experimenting with Herman. I have now taken the one Herman out of the fridge and he is absolutely fine, bubbling away after a good whisk and a feed.
On Friday night I tried out another bread type recipe to test the ‘powers’ of Herman. The taste of the loaf was delicious but I must admit I am a little disappointed with the texture, more cakey than bready even though it was kneaded and left to rise. This may be because the batch of Herman I used was on Day 3 of the cycle so had been fed four days before and may not have been as active as he possibly should be. Here is the recipe that I used, it needs testing again, possibly adding more flour as I only just about got it into the tin without all the yummy chocolate goodness coming out of the middle.
Yeasted Chocolate Cinnamon Loaf
- 300g/10oz strong flour
- 1 portion of Herman
- 40ml milk
- 112g/4oz butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 egg
- 200g/8oz bitter chocolate
- 120g/4oz granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tbs ground cinnamon
- 60g/2oz butter
- 30g/1oz icing sugar
- 30g/1oz plain flour
- 60g/2oz butter, cut into small cubes
To make the bread – this is best done in a free-standing mixer as the dough is very sticky. Put the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat over a low heat until the butter is melted. Add the melted butter and all other ingredients into a large bowl. Mix until smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 9-10 minutes. Grease a large bowl. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in the greased bowl and cover with cling film. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in size. As this recipe is using natural yeasts from the Herman and includes butter and egg this may take 4-6 hours, but keep an eye on it.
To make the filling – Chop up the chocolate into very small chunks, add this to the butter, cinnamon and sugar and mix until all combined. Reserve 1/2 a cup of this chocolate filling for the topping.
Make the topping – In a small bowl combine the icing sugar, flour, butter, and the reserved chocolate filling.
Grease a 5in by 10in loaf tin and line with baking parchment, leaving an overhang, then grease the inside of the baking parchment. Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a floured work top. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and then roll it out into an 45cm/18in square. Sprinkle the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving a 2.5cm/1in border. Brush the edges with cold water. Tightly roll the dough from one end to the other, pinch the edges to seal. Fold in half to form a U shape then twist two or three times. Place the dough in the tin and sprinkle the topping over the bread, it’s ok, if the filling falls down the edges.
Preheat the oven to your ovens hottest setting. Cover the bread with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes – 1 hour.
Place the tin on a baking tray and place it on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at the high temperature then reduce to Gas 4/180C and cook for a further 50 minutes. Then reduce temperature to Gas 3/160⁰C and bake for a final 15 minutes.
Put the tin on a cooling rack and leave until cool before taking the bread out of the tin (if you can wait that long).
I will have a bit of a break from baking as it is only Day 5 on our Herman cycle today, I know I can bring the cycle forward by a few days by feeding Herman early so I may do that so I can practice some more recipes. I will post when I have tested some more.