It’s wild to think that just less than a year ago I was sitting in my college dorm room, sipping on a pistachio smoothie and dwelling on the uncertainty I felt towards the future. Here I am, eleven months later, sitting in my Boston apartment and one day away from beginning an EE PhD program. Just, wow.
Every half a year I come online and promise that this time I’ll start posting consistently, so I won’t do that now, but I will say that I spent most of yesterday transferring chompsoflife.wordpress.com to chompsoflife.com, and I will be cooking for myself from now on. As a PhD student with limited time, this will probably mean mainly meal prepping, but I’m going to do my best to record and take pictures of the recipes I make.
This bread is one of the first things I made in my new apartment. My boyfriend is currently braving Houston’s worst storm in recorded history, and though he’s lucky to still have electricity and internet, the storm has devastated the city I called home for 4 years. This weekend, we both took a break from watching the news to video chat and make bread together, his plain and mine studded with tons of chocolate chips.
Since this was his first time making bread, we went with this basic recipe from king arthur flour, and whoa, I was amazed with how well it turned out. Since I seldom eat plain bread, I halved the recipe, added chocolate chips, increased the sugar to 2 tablespoons (coconut sugar for a nice caramel flavor), and added ground ginger and cinnamon for a bit of extra pizazz. It was delicious fresh out of the oven, and just as good the next day toasted and spread with almond butter.
Also, a tip for anyone who can’t eat an entire loaf of bread before it goes bad, I suggest letting the bread cool to room temperature, slicing it, wrapping the sliced loaf in plastic wrap, and freezing it. Whenever you’re feeling a piece of bread, simply toast for a few minutes or let defrost at room temperature and eat as it. I’m a huge proponent of freezing bread, because it means I can have a slice of chocolate chip bread whenever I want. 🙂
Chocolate Chip Bread
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water (I used approximately 7/8th of it)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Stir together the yeast, sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and flour.
- Very slowly, add the lukewarm water, a few tablespoons at a time. Once the dough is shaggy, transfer to a clean surface and knead for 15-20 minutes. The objective is to create a dough that is tacky, but not sticky. If the dough feels very dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time while continuously kneading. Or, if the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the ball is tacky.
- Continue kneading until the ball of dough is smooth. Add the chocolate chips, and continue kneading until fully incorporated.
- Place the dough inside a large greased bowl, and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm area and double in size. This should take approximately 1-2 hours.
- (Optional: If you’re not planning to bake the dough the same day, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. It should still rise and you can provide with the next step when you’re ready. I think this also adds nice flavor to the final loaf, but feel free to skip if you’re running low on time.)
- Deflate the dough and form it into a long, wide loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside to rise for another hour.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake the bread for 25-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it. If you have a cooking thermometer, the interior of the bread should register 190 degrees F.
- To retain a crispy crust, turn the oven off and prop open the oven door but keep the bread inside to cool. Once cool, slice and serve fresh, or toast and serve with nut spreads or jam. Enjoy!