This Italian Chocolate Bread (Pane al Cioccolato) is a lovely bread to make – with a slight sourdough tang, a subtle chocolate flavor and a beautiful, open crumb. It is perfect for snacking, making french toast, or sweet sandwiches.
I’ve decided I have been way too lazy with my photo taking. The majority of the time I am hastily taking two or three photos (on my phone) before we sit down to dinner, so I know those photos are really not at their best. But everything else? I have no reason for slacking off there. I have never claimed to be a “food stylist” and I will honestly probably never buy fancy dishes and props to use. But I can at least try to remember to use the basic photography principles sometimes, and take my camera off of automatic! So, one afternoon, when Ladybug was asleep, I brought out my camera, switched it into manual mode, and starting shooting pictures. I think I did pretty good, what do you think? (hint: say yes!)
While making this bread, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out. I didn’t read the recipe close enough before I started and was really disappointed when I read that it needed yeast in it. Sourdough and yeast together? But I went ahead and threw the yeast in, as it was only a tiny amount. Then I was kind of worried when my dough, like, didn’t rise. At all. That usually isn’t a good sign, but I preservered anyway.
What does Pane Al Cioccolato taste like?
I was really surprised when I cut into this loaf, it has a nice crumb, and it was really soft!
By itself, the bread isn’t overly chocolate tasting, it has just a tiny hint.
And it isn’t really sourdough tasting, either.
But slathered with a nice layer of nutella, peanut butter, or cream cheese, this bread is heaven on a plate. Or a napkin. Or standing in the corner of the kitchen hoping the toddler doesn’t see you because you don’t feel like sharing.
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Pane Al Cioccolato (Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate)
Biga Naturale (or starter):
- 28 grams of 50% hydration starter
- 32 grams (1/4 cup) bread flour
- 18 grams water, at room temperature
- All of the biga naturale
- 393 grams (3 cups) bread flour
- 248 grams (1 1/8 cups) water
- 71 grams (4 TBSP) honey
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 25 grams (4 TBSP) cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 10 grams (1 TBSP) kosher salt
- 78 grams chocolate chips
- Mix the ingredients for the biga naturale together in a bowl until everything is evenly distributed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to sit at room temperature for 8 hours.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix together all the ingredients for the final dough, except for the chocolate chips!
- Knead by machine for 8-10 minutes.
- Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
- Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead in the chocolate chips by hand, until well incorporated.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Shape into either a boule or batard (a round or an oval) and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 hours (covered).
- Preheat your oven and baking vessel to 400 F.
- Score your bread with a few slashes in whatever pattern you like.
- Bake the bread for 20 minutes covered, rotate the loaf, and bake another 15-20 minutes uncovered.
- When done, remove bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 2.9gCholesterol: 0.3mgSodium: 336.3mgCarbohydrates: 36.8gSugar: 9gProtein: 5.4g