Chocolate Swirl Loaf

     I couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and share something delicious! It was Monday and as my kids are on a four day school week, I needed to make sure one or more of them could help. I went to my over priced, had forever, giant book of baking recipes the “Great American Home Baking” books.

     These are the books that sent you a few recipes every month to add to a binder. You’d be too lazy to cancel the subscription get hooked on the first set and just keep paying that $5 or $10 bill every month, wondering when would it end, but can’t stop now because I must almost be done. Anyway, there are some really good recipes in these books, so I’ll pretend the hundreds of dollars I probably spent was worth it. And just so I don’t sound  foolish for spending all that money, I’d like to note that these books are 16 or 17 years old, way old, like before you could just look up any recipe on the internet.  (Hopefully, I have given full credit to where this recipe came from and I won’t be accused of plagiarism .)
On to the fun.
This recipe makes 1 loaf
Chocolate Spiral Loaf


1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees F.)
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnus (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
Topping
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 1 ounce)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
OK, you’ve got your ingredients
      I did 2 substitutions: 
      switched pecans for walnuts (I’m in Georgia, what else would I use)
      used mini chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet squares, about 1/3 cup ( it’s what I had in the cabinet and I didn’t have to chop them)
Let me introduce you to my helper for the day. Grace, she’s my youngest, just nine, not a baby anymore. She is my future star, and I do mean star. She wants to grow up and be a singer and dancer and is always putting shows on for us. Greatest gift we ever got her is a karaoke machine! 
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast, sugar, and salt in warm water and warm milk. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, just use your finger, it should feel warm, not hot. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir melted butter into yeast mixture. Using a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on low speed, beat in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Ok, I don’t have a heavy duty mixer, I have a hand mixer, don’t let machinery stop you from trying a recipe. I used my hand mixer and was just careful to make sure I didn’t over heat it.
3. On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour to prevent sticking. If you’ve never kneaded bread before, don’t be afraid, it’s basically pushing the dough down away from you with the flat palm of your hand to stretch the dough, fold it back to your body, turn it one quarter and repeat. At this stage, dough is very forgiving.
 Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover loosely with a damp cloth; let rest for 30 minutes.
4.To prepare filling, mix together nuts, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate.
5. Grease a baking sheet.  I used a cooking stone instead of a cookie sheet. On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough to within 1 inch of edges.
 Sprinkle filling over butter; press in slightly. It looks like a lot, but use it all, you’ll be glad you did.
6. Brush 1 long side of dough with water. Starting with a long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style.
 Pinch seam to seal. Coil loaf into a spiral; fold ends under. Place loaf seam-side down, on a prepared baking sheet.
7. Cover loosely with a damp cloth; let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 1/2 hours.
8. To prepare topping, in a medium bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut chilled butter into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. I put my butter in the freezer for just a few minutes before adding to make sure it didn’t get all melty, (is that a word?) on me.
 Stir in nuts.
9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush loaf top with melted butter. Sprinkle with topping. I used all the topping, way to much in my opinion, next time, I’ll try just half.
 Bake loaf until golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, 30-40 minutes. Transfer loaf to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Sadly, we couldn’t wait for it to cool, the kids smelled the delicious aroma coming from the kitchen and came running. They were getting the milk and cups out before I even got the loaf off the stone. It was still  a little delicate to cut (being hot out of the oven). We had a slice as is, and then tried it with some butter, OMG! The butter melting and dripping, finger licking, I just can’t describe how pleased we all were with this recipe. Not overpoweringly (another made up word, proof readers, please ignore) sweet, nice texture, not hard or mushy soft. Can’t wait till it gets colder to make this one again. Already picturing a cold Saturday morning, bundled up in my thick robe, my fuzzy socks keeping my feet warm, a cup of hot coffee and a few slices of bread, yum!
So here’s the final picture:
Don’t forget about clean up, if they help make the mess, they get to help clean it up. I love my kids!
Next time, I’ll do my spiral a little looser so it shows better after baking. Oh, and guess what I had for breakfast this morning?

(All photos in this blog were taken by my 12 year old daughter, Cassie, thanks for all the help baby!)

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Comments

  1. It really IS delicious!

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