It is old news that chocolates and chilies go well together, so I do not claim to have developed any new and fab taste combination. What inspired this bread was a friend who simply mentioned that she would like to try this combo in a bread 'someday'. I thought it was a brilliant idea and this is how it came about that I developed today's recipe. (I use a sourdough starter as raising agent as well as to add flavour. You can read all about this in a blog I published previously: Making a Sourdough Starter).
I did not want the chilies to overpower the bread and opted to use jalapeno chilies.
These were chopped up and added to a medium sized mixing bowl.
1 cup (250 ml) brown bread flour, 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) cake flour, 2 tablespoons (25 ml) sugar, 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) salt, and 2 tablespoons (25 ml) dark cocoa was added to the bowl with the chilies. (I used organic cocoa and had to grate this into the mixture).
Option: If you wish to speed up the raising process, you can add half a packet of Instant Dry Yeast to the dry ingredients. I still recommend adding the sourdough starter for taste.
Mix the dry ingredients well.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl: 1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter, 1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk/sour milk/plain yogurt, 1 egg, 125 g (125 ml) melted butter/margarine/oil.
Bring the dough together.
Prepare a bread pan with non-stick spray and coat with cake flour.
Lightly flour your working surface.
Knead the dough until it forms an elastic ball.
Transfer to the pan and flatten to fill the bottom, pressing down lightly on the dough.
Score the top of the dough to prevent the crust from cracking.
Cover with plastic and place in a warm dry place to rise.
Once risen, preheat your oven to 200 °C. You can brush with egg yolk if you prefer a shiny crust.
Bake for 40 minutes at 200 °C.
Turn out. When you tap the bottom of the bread, you should hear a hollow sound. This is an indication that the bread is baked through.
I prefer a softer crust. In order to achieve this, I dampen a clean dishcloth and cover the warm loaf with it. The steam will soften the crust without making the bread soggy.
Enjoy with butter and cheese, or cold meats, or jam, or...
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