Ydych chi’n hoffi siocled? (or “Do you like chocolate?”)

While shopping for flour, eggs and other nutrients, I felt like getting sweets (I see a pattern here). Since I wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies for a while, this would be a good opportunity.

[A few hours later]

At around 7 PM, it was time to start on those cookies. Without checking the recipe, I started gathering ingredients I could remember (I have never baked chocolate chip cookies): flour, eggs, sugar, bittersweet chocolate chips, butter… Upon checking the recipe to see if something was missing, I noticed that I would need a cup of butter (which translates to about 227 grams, according to Allrecipes), when I optimistically had 100 grams available.

Considering it was -20° (Celsius) outside, I opted for adaptation and remembered that Welsh Bara Brith (literally “speckled bread”) would take most of the ingredients I had at hand. It also took raisins, which are vetoed in the kitchen by a residential decree, but part of my plan was to replace them with chocolate chips anyway (think chocolate panettone). Luckily, my girlfriend had taken advantage of some free time and an abundance of citrus at the end of the year and we had candied citrus peels (for a recipe, please check here. We kept the syrup for future use as well).

Loaf of bread resting on a cutting board. The chocolate chips are visible in the bread. In the background there is a glass filled with tea.
The baked Bara Brith loaf ready to be eaten with a nice cup of decaf black tea.

Chocolate Bara Brith

Ingredients

20 grams of fresh yeast

210 ml of warm milk

450 g of unbleached white flour

75 g of butter (or lard)

2.5 g of salt

100 g of sugar (50-50 mix of golden and brown)

180 g of chocolate chips (71% cocoa)

1 egg

40 g of candied citrus peels

15-30 ml of honey/citrus syrup mix to glaze

Directions

1. Dissolve the yeast in a bit of milk. Once it’s dissolved, add the rest of the milk and let it rest for 10 minutes.

2. In a mixer bowl, add the flour and integrate the butter. Once it’s done, add the salt and sugar.

3. Add the milk/yeast mix and the egg and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl and leave it to rest for 1.5 hour (or until it doubles in size).

4. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and add the chocolate chips and candied peels with the fingers. Give the dough a round form and put on the baking tray. Cover it and leave it for 1 hour (or until it doubles in size).

5. Pre-heat the oven to 200° Celsius (392° Fahrenheit) and bake the bread for 30 minutes. Put the bread on a cooling rack and glaze it with the honey or honey/citrus syrups mix. Good luck in waiting for it to cool down before cutting it open.

Note: My bara brith ended up a little underbaked. I had missed one part of the instruction where they say for step 5: “If the bread gets too dark, cover it with aluminium foil in the last 10 minutes of baking.” I fixed this by rebaking it for about 30 minutes at 175 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). It’s a bit dry in some parts, but baked all the way through and delicious.

The bara brith loaf already cut open resting on a cutting board.
Bon Appetit!
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Ydych chi’n hoffi siocled? (or “Do you like chocolate?”)