Chocolate Bread Recipe – Mother Earth News

Photo by Josh Shaub

This pain au chocolat recipe is often made for Valentine’s Day at Orwashers, but would be perfect for any sweet occasion.

  • 2.46 lbs/1.12 kg bread flour
  • 1.25 lbs/567g of water
  • 0.1 lb/45.36 g egg yolks
  • 0.2 lb/90.72 g solid vegetable shortening
  • 0.4 lbs/181.4g sugar
  • 0.01 lb/4.54 g cinnamon
  • 0.05 lbs/22.68g salt
  • 0.03 lb/13.61 g instant yeast
  • 0.5 lbs/226.8g chocolate chunks (I like to use semi-sweet chocolate, but any will do; it’s really a matter of preference. However, I think chocolate dark high cocoa content is too bitter for this bread.)
  • Mount the stand mixer with a dough hook.
  • Place the flour, water, egg yolks, vegetable shortening, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Stir over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add the yeast.
  • Stir over medium heat for an additional 6 minutes.
  • Add chocolate pieces.
  • Stir over low heat until the chocolate is combined into the batter.
  • Dough temperature should be between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees F/24 degrees Celsius and 26 degrees C.
  • The dough should be shiny and pull away from the mixing bowl.
  • Do the dough test (see below).
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and transfer it to a lightly oiled airtight container.
  • Let the dough rest on the work surface for about 3 hours. The dough must double in volume.
  • Let the dough roll out of the container onto a lightly floured work surface (a marble or butcher block is ideal).
  • Cut the dough with a scraper into 4 equal squares/rectangles, about 1.25 lbs/567 g each.
  • Shape each into a ball (see below).
  • Leave the dough to rest for 4 hours after shaping.
  • Mark an “X” at the top of the dough. (We like to mark a heart on top of this loaf for Valentine’s Day. Try making a little heart on top of the loaf instead of an “X”.)
  • Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F/200 degrees C.
  • Bake for 33 minutes until lightly browned.
    Discover other handmade artisan bread recipes in Orwashers brings back the neighborhood bakery.

    The window paste test:

    Perform this test to see if the dough has been sufficiently mixed or kneaded.

  • Cut a small amount of dough, about the size of an egg. 2. Hold it between your thumb and first two fingers with both hands. 3. Spread your fingers and thumbs apart, stretching the dough. 4. You should be able to see the translucency in the middle part of the paste, similar to glass. 5. If the batter is not translucent, mix for another two minutes and try again.


    The term boule is French for “ball”. As you might have guessed, a ball is the traditional shape of French bread, aside from the long, narrow baguette, of course. When shaping a ball, the goal is to give the dough enough surface tension so that the shape holds through the baking process rather than flattening out.

  • Take an individual piece of dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. 2. Starting at the top, pinch and pull a piece of dough from the outside to the middle. Continue this method all the way around the outside of the dough, about five or six times. It is helpful to think of this process as bringing all the points of a star together in the middle. Remember: the goal is to create a surface taut enough to hold its shape while cooking. 3. With the gathering point at the bottom, roll the dough between both hands into a solid spherical shape.

    This excerpt has been reproduced with permission from Orwashers artisanal bread: 100 years of techniques and recipes by Keith Cohen and published by Race Point Publishing, 2014. Buy this book in our shop: Orwashers Artisan Bread.


Baking is a combination of art and science. Master baker and owner, Keith Cohen shares his expertise in Orwashers Artisan Bread (Race Point Editions, 2014). Filled with step-by-step instructions and behind-the-scenes details of how artisan bakers work, Cohen provides recipes to hone your own baking skills to create the perfect loaf every time. The following snippet for a pain au chocolat recipe is a nice surprise for any sweet occasion.

You can buy this book at SQUEAK shop: Orwashers Artisanal bread.

This recipe is a challah-based bread sprinkled with chocolate chips. We make it around Valentine’s Day at the bakery, but it’s perfect for any sweet occasion! Pain au chocolat makes a decadent breakfast or sweet snack.

Chocolate bread recipe

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