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Chocolate Spice Bread

Posted by gaaarp.

The second recipe in the Modern Baker Challenge is Chocolate Spice Bread.  I was so excited to try this recipe, with its promise of ultra-chocolaty goodness, that I baked it on the first official day of the Challenge.  (I made Fennel Fig & Almond Bread a few weeks ago as a “test run” of the book.) I doubled the recipe, as one loaf hardly seemed worth the effort.

This bread was not what I expected. It has Dutch cocoa, white and dark brown sugars, and lots of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger). With all of that, I really was anticipating something akin to a dark chocolate cake. In fact, the batter looked a lot like fudge brownie batter. So I was surprised, though not at all disappointed, with the result. But more on that in a minute.

I began by mixing the dry ingredients — flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and the spices. An order from King Arthur had just arrived the day before, and I was excited to try my new Vietnamese cinnamon. If you have never tried it, you really should. It’s like super-concentrated cinnamon and smells so good, I just want to eat it right out of the jar.

Next, I beat the eggs, then whisked in the sugars, butter, and sour cream, and finally stirred in the dry ingredients. This was one of those rare bread recipes for which I didn’t break out the Kitchen Aid. Even doubled, it was really easy to mix by hand with just a balloon whisk.

I baked the bread at 350°F in 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch pans for about 40 minutes. It smelled wonderful — deep, rich, spicy. And it came out looking pretty much like the picture in the book.

I let the bread cool before cutting it. And when I did slice into it, I was surprised by the flavor. As I mentioned above, I was expecting it to taste almost like chocolate cake. But it was not nearly that sugary. It had a rich, chocolaty flavor, to be sure. But it wasn’t fudgy or overly sweet. And the depth of flavor also came as a surprise. The spices, dark brown sugar, and sour cream, along with the Dutch cocoa and other ingredients, make for a complex bread with a taste that lingered after I had finished eating it.

In the recipe, Nick Malgieri suggests that this bread is good with preserves or jam. Again, I wasn’t sure how that would be, as I expected the bread to be quite sweet on its own. But after tasting it, I could see how it might pair well with jam or jelly. I tried it with several spreads and found I really liked it with fig preserves.

All in all, I was as pleased as I was surprised by this bread, and I will definitely make it again.



1. Julie - May 26, 2010

I commented in the wrong place…sorry. I was trying to comment on Kayte’s post. Too early in the am.

2. Julie - May 26, 2010

Hi! I am new to the Modern Baker Challenge. This was my first bread to bake. Love your mini loaf pans. Your looks like a deeper chocolate than mine. I will make this one again.

3. Julie - May 24, 2010
4. ap269 - May 8, 2010
5. ap269 - May 8, 2010

Here’s my post about the chocolate spice bread. I wasn’t too excited about the result, though. http://ap269.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/the-modern-baker-challenge-quick-breads-%e2%80%93-chocolate-spice-bread/

6. Nick Malgieri - April 26, 2010

Funny, I just did a white (plain) and chocolate swirl bread – a yeast bread, not a baking powder one – for my next book and this time I remembered to let everyone know that although it has a pleasant chocolate flavor, it’s not exactly like eating brownies! I love quick breads because you can achieve lots of flavor but in a much less rich medium than a cake. And the jam or jelly rounds out the flavor perfectly. Love your photos of the loaves – they look so appetizing.

gaaarp - April 26, 2010

Thanks, Nick. As you can tell, I loved this recipe, as I have all of them so far. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on the posts!

7. Petra - April 23, 2010

I got mine done today as well. This will be served on Thanksgiving/Christmas in my house this year. Maybe even as part of a breadkfast.

8. ap269 - April 22, 2010

Check out Sara’s post: http://tinyurl.com/3yx3loc.

9. Kayte - April 22, 2010

Thanks, Phyl, I was just getting ready to get my act together and post my links for my breads now that I figured out that is how we are supposed to do this…duh. This one disappeared in record time as the guys love chocolate around here. Post at http://grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com/grandmas_kitchen_table/2010/04/modern-baker-chocolate-spice-bread.html

10. AnneMarie - April 11, 2010

We enjoyed this with strawberries and whipped cream. I too would make it again.

gaaarp - April 11, 2010

Oooh. Chocolate Spice Bread with strawberries and whipped cream. I hadn’t thought of that, but it sounds great!

11. gaaarp - April 10, 2010
12. ap269 - April 6, 2010

Can’t wait to make this one. It looks sooo yummy!

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