chocolate … BREAD

When I was in Portland in March, my friend Wendy told me about the yumminess of the chocolate bread at the Pearl Bakery. I imagined that it would be a moist, muffin-like concoction in the form of a bread loaf. Boy, was I wrong! It is actually a rustic, chewy Italian bread infused with cocoa and studded with chunks of chocolate. Chocolate panini. It is not too sweet, but it is fully satisfying.
Since my return to California, I have thought repeatedly about this bread and decided to try to track down a recipe. I asked about it on the Pacific Northwest board of Chowhound and received one response, a link to a recipe for Balthazar’s Chocolate Bread. Here’s how it turned out:
chocolate bread.JPG chocolate bread innards.JPG
It wasn’t as chewy as the Pearl Bakery version, but I am still pleased with the results. Pretty tasty, so I will make it again (especially since the recipe calls for a starter, and so now I have this starter living in my fridge, and I don’t quite know what to do with it).
DISHRAG ADDENDUM: In Japan these dishcloths are generally made with acrylic yarn. I think you’re supposed to get more scrubbing power with acrylic or something?

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17 Responses to chocolate … BREAD

  1. KarenK says:

    Mmmmm, Pearl Bakery….. great bread, super pastries, good sandwiches…. I won’t be back in Portland again until late June, but Pearl Bakery is always on the list of places to stop on the way from the airport to home. Along with Powell’s and Trader Joe’s and the yarn store in Salem. Good job on the chocolate bread.

  2. Jessica says:

    I was just having a conversation with two professional bread bakers a week or so ago. We were agreeing that it’s impossible to get the same texture from a home oven. Glad to hear you had good results.
    On the Canadian candy: I used to work across from a little coffee shop/candy store at the Bellevue Square Mall. For some reason they had lots of Canadian candy–Bounty bars, Violet Crumble, Cadbury Flake, Smarties, Aero…ahhh. It’s gone now. Alas.

  3. alison says:

    Mmm, chocolate bread. Mariko, I just saw the photo’s on Insane Brother’s blog and I’m howling!

  4. Ann says:

    What beauteous bread. I love to see what you’re snacking on–always something tasty at the Eggplant.

  5. monica says:

    Starters are a little scary to me. I had one living on top of my fridge for a while because I forgot all about it and then it reminded me that it was there. Really reminded me!

  6. cari says:

    Mmmm…chocolate bread. We’ve got a place here in Brooklyn (actually a small chain of them) called Uprising. Every Tuesday and Saturday they have dark chocolate cranberry bread. Positively addictive; perfect by itself the first day, then just as good toasted with almond butter the next…

  7. Theresa says:

    Yum! Have you ever had the chocolate cherry bread from Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI? It’s excellent stuff… and they ship worldwide… 😉

  8. Em/Michelle says:

    All this talk about bread is making me ravenous. Bread and Chocolate–does it get any better? (especially since I’m in Low-Carb purgatory here)

  9. Melissa says:

    Looks good. I love bread and chocolate together.

  10. Bruce says:

    When I first saw the pictures, I thought that you had bought a horse. Glad those muffins are tasty!!

  11. Jackie says:

    Oh, do I miss chocolate bread. They used to have a great one at the bakery Ecce Panis, a chain in NY but a very good one. Alas, the one near me closed some time ago.

  12. Anne W. M. says:

    Now what you need is chocolate cheddar cheese to go on top of the bread. I haven’t had any of that stuff since I left Wisconsin, I wonder if they still make it. (It often had additional mint and/or nuts).

  13. Kielbasa says:

    So after all these years, are you finally willing to admit that bread machines are heresy?

  14. Silvia says:

    Ooh that looks heavenly! I’m afraid I’d have embarrassed myself with that warm from the oven sitting in front of me…it would be gone…no self control…

  15. Ande says:

    I’ve made dishcloths with Phentex (I know, the horror) and they worked great! That nasty, stringy, fibrous stuff that granny uses for slippers makes a great scrubbie. Just wear dark shades when you buy it and hope no one recognizes you!

  16. Kath says:

    I used to get chocolate bread that sounds similar to the one you like, from the Turtle Bread Co. in Minneapolis. I found a recipe very similar in Carol Field’s “The Italian Baker”. Try the chocolate bread made into french toast! Its the best!

  17. karen says:

    This reminds me of the “chocolate things” served at Berkeley’s The Cheeseboard. Chocolate things don’t have cocoa in the batter though–they are brioche dough studded with chunks of chocolate. Chocolate crumbs seem to spread throughout the dough. Tried to make them at home (using The Cheeseboard’s cookbook) with medium success. It’s hard to get that chewy consistency in a home oven. Sure didn’t stop us from eating every bit though!

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