Mocha Pfeffernüsse bread

Chocolate – check

Pfeffernüsse spice – check

Coffee – check

Bread – check

With all the good things in life checked off here, it’s of little wonder that this bread is sooooo good! It makes for an awesomely decadent treat (breakfast?) with a latte, and makes the whole house smell like heaven
before you even pop it in the oven. I’ve missed baking so much (stupid busy lifestyle!), and this was the perfect way to get back into the swing of it. It was inspired by the Spiced Choc Coffee Loaf in the Woolworths Fresh magazine, and the fact that while I’d run out of mixed spice, I’ve got a whole stash of pfeffernüsse spice in my kitchen. I haven’t made the original, but my spice mix brings so much to the party that I won’t be omitting it.

The caveat is that it’s, um, nearly 500 calories a slice. But it’s legitimately bread, not cake, and although decadent, it is also filling. And it’s certainly a special occasion kind of recipe, so it’s not like you’d be adding it to your regular diet. And if you are, I kind of envy you!

Ingredients

Dough

3/4 cup milk

7g sachet yeast

1/3 cup caster sugar

3 1/3 cups plain flour

3 eggs, beaten

125g butter (I use salted – if yours is unsalted, add 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes), cubed

Filling

250g dark chocolate

50g butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1tbs pfeffernüsse spice

Icing

30 mls espresso (I used Nespresso Vanilio)

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Method

  1. Combine milk, yeast and sugar, and rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Place yeast mixture, flour and eggs into a bowl. Knead for 3 minutes until smooth (or 3 minutes in a stand mixer).
  3. While continuing to knead, add butter one piece at a time, incorporating each into the dough before adding another. Knead for 10 minutes after the final piece, until smooth, glossy and elastic.
  4. Place dough in a clean bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a loaf pan with greased baking paper.  
  6. Melt chocolate and butter, and add sugar and spice mix. Stir to combine.
  7. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 35x40cm rectangle. Spread with chocolate mixture and roll into logs from the short edges.
  8. Cut each log lengthways (use a very sharp knife for this or it will tear the dough). Twist two halves into one log, and then repeat with the remaining two logs.
  9. Plait the two twisted logs into one large log and fold the edges underneath. Fit into the loaf pan, squishing the edges in if necessary, but aiming not to lose the twisted appearance.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes. Stand for 15 minutes then remove from pan.
  11. Combine the icing ingredients and drizzle over the loaf.

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