Let's Dough This: Chocolate Quick Bread

This week's recipe was a fun one to try! I've never made a bread before, nor have I tried to caramelize anything in my life.

While one aspect of this bake was a fail, the other 2 parts were successes! 

This is another recipe from on of my trusted Great British Bake-Off cookbooks, 'Celebrations."

Don't worry, I have more cookbooks on the way, so I'll start trying other recipes soon! 

Tools You'll Need

  • A digital scale 
  • 2 baking sheets lined with paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • 2 medium pans/pots
  • Small pan/pot
  • Wooden spoons
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Heatproof jug
  • Plastic wrap

Ingredients for the Bread

  • 450 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 80 grams cocoa powder
  • 100 grams pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, diced
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 200 ml buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to mix 

How to Make the Bread:

Time: About 50 minutes plus time to cool

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl
  3. Add the chopped pecans and mix
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set the bowl aside
  5. Measure your butter and sugar into a medium pan and set the pan over low heat
  6. Stir occassionally until the butter is melted 
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the buttermilk
  8. Stir in the beaten eggs
  9. Pour the wet mixture into the well in the flour mixture
  10. Use a wooden spoon to gradually work the flour into the wet mixture. This will make a heavy, slightly sticky dough
  11. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop - you'll want to work quickly on these next couple steps 
  12. Gently knead the dough for a couple seconds until it's just smooth
  13. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball 
  14. Place the balls on the lined baking sheet with plenty room for them to expand 
  15. Slightly flatten the balls with the palm of your hand
  16. Use a large, sharp knife to cut a cross in the top of each ball - I cut mine too long, so use mine as an example of what NOT to do 
  17. Baked for 30-35 minutes

The loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom when they're done. Cool on a wire rack. 

Ingredients for Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 15 grams unsalted butter
  • 125 ml whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt flakes (I just used fine sea salt) 
  • 50 grams sugar

How to Make the Salted Caramel Sauce:

Time: 20-30 minutes

  1. Measure your butter and cream into a small pan 
  2. Heat on low until the butter is melted. Get this mixture warm, but not hot 
  3. Remove from heat and set aside
  4. Measure the sugar into a medium and and heat over low 
  5. Swirl the sugar in the pan until it's completely melted. You can use a metal spoon if needed to stir occasionally
  6. Bring the melted sugar to a boil (don't stir it) until it turns into a golden caramel
  7. Quickly remove the pan from heat and add a spoonful of the cream mixture to the caramel. Be careful as this will froth up but mine splattered a little as I stirred it
  8. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the rest of the cream mixture
  9. Return the pan to low heat and stir until smooth
  10. Pour into a heatproof jug or a mason jar and set it aside until it's cool
  11. You can cover it with plastic wrap or a lid and keep in the fridge until needed 

Ingredients for Caramelized Pecans

  • 20 pecan halves
  • 200 grams sugar

How to Make the Caramelized Pecans

Time: 20-30 minutes plus cooling/setting

NOTE: I completely failed at this one

  1. Place the pecans on the line baking sheet
  2. Measure the sugar into a medium pan (you can even wash the one you used for the sauce) 
  3. Set over low heat and cook into the golden caramel as before 
  4. Pour the caramel over the pecans and let set 
  5. Once they're set, break the caramel into fragments but keep the pecans in tact

For my caramel, I let it boil too long which resulted in a very dark caramel. It didn't taste burnt, but it didn't taste good. It had a very strong spice flavor to it that I didn't like, so I ended up throwing it away. 

Putting it Together

When you're ready to serve the bread, drizzle some of your salted caramel sauce over the top and place the pecans and caramel shards on the loaf. Obviously, I ruined my pecans so I only had the drizzle to work with. I put the extra sauce into a cup for dipping because I'm a sucker for anything salted caramel. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it, let me know how it went in the comments below or share your pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #LetsDoughThis so I can see it! 

While you're here, check out my previous posts to see what I've baked this month and come back next Sunday night for another new recipe!