Ok..I made a pretty darn good Cardamom and Orange Pull-Apart Bread the other day. In my usual fashion, I've become obsessed. What other flavors can I pull apart? Peaches and Cream? Bacon and Egg? Let me see...this is a Christmas post...how about a Hot Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread?!! Methinks Santa will approve.
Don't let the fact that this is a yeast bread scare you away...truly, it's not that hard, especially if you use a stand mixer. Come on. Give it a try. Your family will love you....
Hot Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (2.5 oz) package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 egg, room temperature, slightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 cup marshmallow crème
4-6 tablespoons half/half, divided
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Heat the milk 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Let cool until temperature is about 110 degrees F (like bathwater warm).
In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, salt, and cocoa.
In a large mixing bowl, combine milk mixture with yeast, egg, and 2 cups of the flour mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. (Alternately, just use the dough hook on your mixer and let the mixer knead the dough for about five minutes)
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean damp towel. Allow dough to rise until double, about 1 hour. In the mean time, process the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate chips in a food processor until the mixture is well blended , the nuts are ground, and the chocolate is coarsely chopped; set aside.
Use a pastry brush to butter two 8-inch loaf pans; preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out one of the dough halves into a large (about 12X9 inch) rectangle. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch edge. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough vertically into 4 strips, then horizontally into 6 strips. Carefully, stack the strips 4 high. Place each stack of strips, cut side up, in a loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with stray filling. Repeat with the other half of dough.
Cover the loaf pans loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes, and then bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned. Cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing from pan. Glaze while warm.
For the glaze, warm 3-4 tablespoons of half/half and whisk into 1 cup marshmallow crème. Drizzle over the warm loaves. If desired, whisk 1-2 tablespoons warm half/half into ½ cup chocolate chips and blend until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the marshmallow glaze.
I used foil pans...after glazing the bread, you can place it back in the pan to transport.
Don't have marshmallow creme? Go ahead and melt some mini-marshmallows with the half/half over low heat, whisking until smooth.
I can't stop thinking about more pull-apart flavors...what sounds good to you? Eggnog? Sweet Potato? Bratwurst with Sauerkraut?
Visit all the other Christmas Week Peeps for more Holiday Baking Goodness:
■ Mini Sugar Cookie Houses aka Hot Chocolate Mug Perches by Cravings of a Lunatic
■ Eggnog Cookie Truffles by The Weekend Gourmet
■ Spiked Candy Cane Hot Chocolate by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks:
■ Gingerbread Texas Sheet Cake with Lemon Frosting by Chocolate Moosey
■ Swirl Cookies by Noshing With The Nolands
■ Caramel Apples by My Catholic Kitchen
■ Homemade Caramels by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
■ Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies by Food Lust People Love
■ Mounds Brownie Cupcakes by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
■ Hot Chocolate Pull Apart Bread by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter
■ Sugared Grape and Phyllo Tart by See Aimee Cook
■ Taffy Tan Fudge by Mom’s Test Kitchen
■ Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies by Cooking In Stilettos
■ Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread by Liv Life
■ White Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
■ Devil’s Food Cake Cookies by Try Anything Once Culinary
■ Cinnamon Whiskey Balls by Home Cooking Memories
■ Pumpkin Chiffon Pie by Jen’s Favorite Cookies
■ Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Truffles by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
■ Candy Cane Blossoms by Like Mother Like Daughter
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