I always say, “you can’t go wrong with chocolate”, and this simple variation of my Basic Banana Bread, was no exception. All I did was add half a cup of melted chocolate chips, but the results were gorgeous!
No, your eyes have not deceive you. Today’s recipe contains no sugary goodness; it is not studded with chocolate chips, nor garnished with a mound of frosting… Not to worry, I’m sure next week things will be back to normal 😉
I’ve really been into bread lately. Sure, I love my sweets, but there’s something so inviting about fresh baked bread. The chewy texture, the yeasty flavour, it may just be the ultimate comfort food!… Now before you get all bummed about how much work it takes to make bread, let me tell you the best part. This bread requires no kneading… No seriously! Mix it in a bowl, let it do it’s thing, divide, let it rest, bake. That’s all it takes, before you too could be enjoying your own, homemade bread.
Before I begin, I’d like to extend a big thank you to Annie (An Unrefined Vegan), Somer (Vedged Out), and Jason (Jason and the Veganauts). Without their time and energy, these potlucks wouldn’t be possible.
Ok, I know that you’re eyeing the word “chocolate”, and I want to be really clear (to avoid any possible disappointment), this is not a dessert bread. In fact, there’s nothing sweet about it. The key word here is “beer”. Yup, this one’s for the beer lovers.
“So, just how do you eat Chocolate Beer Bread?”
Well I’m glad you asked! 🙂
This robustly flavoured bread is best paired with a hearty stew or chili. That being said, it also adds an interesting twist to grilled cheese sandwiches (which I would love to add sauerkraut to, next time).
If you’ve been intimidated by yeast breads in the past, don’t worry. This is a very easy, no knead recipe. Just mix it up and walk away… ok, maybe not quite THAT easy… And if, perhaps, stout is a little strong for your taste, simply switch it with a lighter flavoured beer.
Once you’re done buttering up your slice (with Earth Balance, of course), use the buttons at the end of this post to either go back and grab a little more from Bankrupt Vegan or keep moving down the line to check out what Bite Me (I’m Vegan) brought… And thanks for joining us!
Chocolate Beer Bread
1 1/4 c Warm Water (like a hot bath)
2 tbsp Agave Nectar
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast (traditional, not instant)
4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, plus some for dusting
1/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 cup Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Stout
Stir together the water and agave nectar. Sprinkle yeast over water mixture and set aside in a warm place for 10 – 15 minutes.
Stir together the flour, vital wheat gluten, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
When yeast mixture has become frothy, stir in oil, salt, and beer. Beat in the flour mixture, a cup at a time, until all has been incorporated and forms a sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl (for this, I used a beater fitted with dough hooks, but it can also be done by hand with a spoon).
Cover and let rise, in a warm spot, for about 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
Scrape the dough onto a well floured surface (be gentle, you’re not punching it down or trying to deflate it). Generously dust with flour (I may have gotten a little carried away :-)), and form into an oblong loaf shape… This dough is not a firm moldable one, it will flatten and spread out. So don’t waste your time trying to shape it perfectly.
Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper)… Transfer quickly and gently. I find it helpful to have the baking sheet very close by or to shape the loaf on floured parchment paper and then slide it onto the baking sheet… Dust with more flour, cover with a towel and allow to rise, in a warm location, for another 30 – 40 minutes.
15 minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, pre-heat oven to 425°F.
When the loaf has finished rising, slash several slits across the top, with a sharp knife.
Bake for 35 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped.
Transfer to a rack and cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.
This recipe came about thanks to compromise… Dave was asking for zucchini bread, and I was anxious to use up a couple of very brown bananas. Then a thought hit me, make him zucchini bread but add the bananas! Dave agreed to my craziness and I got to work.
The bread turned out moist and fluffy, with a delicate banana flavour and pretty flecks of green. I love this loaf and see myself making it again and again. Seriously, I want to make it for everybody!
So I guess there was a lesson in all of this for me: Don’t be afraid of compromise, the results can be delicious! 🙂
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Finely Shredded Zucchini (don’t peel)
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Pureed Banana
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare an 8-inch loaf pan.
Stir together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Stir together the zucchini, sugar, pureed banana, oil, and vinegar until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just moistened (batter will be lumpy).
Spoon batter into loaf pan and level the surface.
Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the loaf to rest in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack.
When completely cool, wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator before slicing.
This past weekend, I was tempted by and bought a cinnamon roll. After getting it home and devouring it, I realized that one roll just wasn’t enough to satisfy my cinnamon craving. I should have bought two (or maybe more ;-))… I considered making more rolls of my own, but (I’m going to be honest here) that seemed like SO much work! So I settled on the next best thing, Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
Still recovering from my Halloween indulgence, I decided to resist the sugar and sweetened with maple syrup instead. For fun, I mixed in some whole wheat flour too… Ya, I know. I’ve got a weird sense of fun :-)… I was a little concerned that the addition of whole wheat might make the bread too dense, but it turned out perfect! Soft and chewy, sweet and cinnamony.
Now, on to new ventures! Perhaps cinnamon raisin bread french toast… Or maybe I’ll channel Elvis and make a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, on cinnamon bread. mmmm.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
1 tbsp Quick Rise Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water (not hot)
1/2 cup Applesauce (unsweetened)
1/3 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 – 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1 cup Raisins
2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp Cinnamon
Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (I used parchment paper).
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.
Stir applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and salt together. Warm slightly (should feel warm to touch). If it’s too hot, allow to cool until you can easily touch it. Stir into yeast mixture.
Add whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, stirring until well incorporated. Add one cup of all-purpose flour, stirring until too stiff to do so, finish incorporating flour by kneading in.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary (takes about 5 minutes).
Immediately, roll out into a 9 x 13 inch rectangle (if your rectangle is longer, that’s ok). Spread 2 tablespoons of maple syrup evenly over surface. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I used a sieve to get a nice even dusting).
Roll dough, pinch ends to seal, and place in loaf pan.
Cover and let rise for approximately 1 hour, until doubled in size.
Place in an oven, preheated to 350°F. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped (if bread browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil).
Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes 1 loaf.