Posted by bakinghistory on June 19, 2007
A really outstanding recipe for a bread with many desirable qualities: a billowy soft crumb, a deep cocoa flavor and just a hint of sweetness. Good on its own, with butter or cream cheese, or for an alternative version of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My favorite: lightly toasted and spread with a thin layer of orange marmalade.
From the original recipe by The Fleischmann’s® Company
In “Excellent Recipes for Baking Raised Breads” 1920–USA
For the Sponge:
2 tsp (8 g) Fleischmann’s® active dry yeast Or 1/2 cake fresh yeast
2 cups (475 ml) whole milk, scalded and cooled
1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
3 cups (411 g) bread flour
For the final Dough:
All of the Sponge
2-1/2 (342 g) cups bread flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup (60 g) butter
2 small eggs
1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) Milk to glaze the loaves
Make the Sponge: Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk with 1 tbsp of sugar, let stand 5 minutes than add the flour and mix well (if using a stand mixer beat the mixture on the lowest speed using the flat beater attachment). Cover the bowl an leave the sponge to ferment for about 1 hour, or until doubled and bubbly.
Make the final Dough: Sift cocoa powder and flour together through a fine sieve and set aside. Cream the butter and then add the sugar, until well incorporated, finally add the eggs and mix well.
Add the butter-eggs-sugar mixture to the sponge and beat well (on the lowest speed with the flat beater attachment if using a stand mixer). Add the flour-cocoa mixture and then the salt, and knead (switch to the dough hook and knead at the lowest speed) until the dough is smooth and elastic, very soft but supple and only slightly tacky, and with tiny blisters all over the surface .
If it is too soft and sticky, you need to adjust the amount of flour by adding it 1 tbsp at a time until the dough reaches the right consistency. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl to rise, covered, for about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
Shape the loaves:
Flatten the square of dough one last time, and fold in half, pinching the seams on all sides. Roll the dough under the palm of your hands to stretch and elongate it and then place it, seam side down, in a lightly greased 9.1 x 5.4 inch (13.6 x 23.2 cm) loaf pan
Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the pans with lightly greased wax paper and let the breads rise until they reach above the sides of the pans by about 1 inch.
Lightly brush the surface of the raised breads with milk
Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes.
Take the loaves out of the pans and cool on racks.