Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Chocolate Marble Bread

I finally made it! This is my second attempt on a chocolate swirl bread...it is definitely much better than my previous attempt.

I realised that in order to prevent the chocolate from oozing out from the dough, the texture has to be right. The first time when I did the chocolate paste, it was too soft. The trick is to cook the chocolate paste till very thick and almost dried out...forming a big lump. The texture is almost like a soft cookie dough.

As I needed to use up my whipping cream before it expires, I used the Hokkaido Milky loaf dough instead of the dough recipe from the chocolate swirl bread. I made the chocolate paste while the bread maker was doing the manual work of mixing and kneading.

Here's how the dough looked like when it was plaited, ready for the second proofing.

The dough rose beautifully during the second proofing, but my shaping skills need further improvement. I wasn't able to achieve an even loaf...one of the sides was smaller than the other!

The finished loaf....all swirly and twirly...I was so glad that this time round, the top was not burnt. I've learnt that as the heating element of my oven is located on the top, I'll have to bake the bread on a lower rack position to prevent the top from burning. I positioned this loaf such that the top of the bread was at the centre of the oven. I was so pleased that the bread was browned evenly all over :)

I didn't really follow exactly how the dough was supposed to be rolled and shaped as given in the chocolate swirl bread recipe. Instead I adopted the rolling and shaping method of a basic danish bread. I was also too lazy to chill the dough in between the shaping, rolling and folding...I simply did it in one shot and let it proof. Luckily, the marble effect turned out great.

This is indeed a very interesting bread...each slice has got slightly different swirls...and the exciting thing is, you won't know how the marbling effect will be until you slice the loaf =)

and here's how I did my quick and easier version of the chocolate swirl bread.

(makes one small loaf)

chocolate sheet
20g cake flour
50g sugar
1 egg white
80ml milk (warmed)
18g cocoa powder
10g butter

bread dough
270g bread flour
30g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
15g milk powder
40g caster sugar
4.5g (3/4 teaspoon) salt
125g fresh milk
Half an egg
75g whipping cream (heavy cream)


chocolate sheet
  1. Mix sugar and cake flour into the egg white until smooth.
  2. Place milk in a saucepan and heat till just simmering.
  3. Add coca powder into the milk and stir till cocoa powder is incorporated into milk.
  4. Add egg white mixture into the cocoa mixture and stir over low fire till mixture thickens and form a thick lump.
  5. Add in butter and stir till incorporated.
  6. Leave to cool. Place in a plastic bag and roll into a square (about 14cm x 14cm). Keep refrigerated before use.

bread dough
  1. Place all ingredients in the bread pan of the bread machine, according to the sequence stated in the instructions of your bread machine. Select the Dough function to knead and proof the dough (about 1hr 30mins).
  2. Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Roll out the dough into a rectangle (about 45cm x 20cm) on a lightly floured work surface. Place the chocolate sheet on the middle of the dough. Wrap both ends of the dough over to cover the chocolate sheet completely. Take note that the dough should be rolled long enough for both sides to fold over the chocolate sheet, leaving a border edge of about one inch. Seal the edges tightly. The dough should now be about 15cm x 20cm.
  3. Roll dough from centre to the edges to form a rectangle (about 45cm x 20cm). Do this gently to prevent the chocolate paste from oozing out. Fold the dough into 3 folds.
  4. Repeat step 3 above. (If you want to create more swirls, repeat this step twice.)
  5. Finally, roll dough to 30cm x 15cm. Make a cut in the middle (length wise) leaving an inch uncut. Twist and plait. Place plaited dough in loaf pan and let proof for another 30mins or until the dough rise to about 80% of the loaf pan.
  6. Preheat oven to 200 degC but bake at 180 degC for about 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and unmould immediately. Let the loaf cool off before slicing.


kitchenmage said...

That looks wonderful! As soon as I find some time, this is happening in my kitchen.

ovenhaven said...

Oh gosh, the bread looks so enticing! Love the perfect swirls!

I'd love to try this out, but I don't have a breadmaker. Is it possible to do it without any?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Wow!!! I'm speechless - this bread looks amazing! Those chocolate strips are perfectly distributed!

lafillefolle said...

hey HHB! i tried baking those durian muffins!! but then ah, they're salty?! i don't know why, but i think it might be due to the salt and baking powder! i used measuring spoons and the teaspoon looked quite big.. nevertheless, they don't taste half bad for a first attempt! i'll try harder next time! thanks for your recipes!!

novice baker said...

wow! this bread looks stunning! Well done!
Sounds like it needs a lot of work....The only chocolate swirl bread that I ever made is the Chocolate Babka, which has a chocolate filling in the bread....

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Beth, thanks! I am sure with your experience, you can come up with something better than what I've done :) With different foldings and shaping (for example, using 3 plaits instead of 2) will yield different marble or swirl effect!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Ovenhaven, you can sure made these without a bread machine. I've used the bread machine to take care of the kneading and proofing so that I can have time to do other things :) You can place all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl to mix and then knead by hand. Just take care not to place the yeast near the salt...and I think the fresh milk, whipping cream and eggs have to be in room temperature if you are mixing by hand.

lafillefolle, I didn't have the problem with the salt...I couldnt taste the salt in the muffins. Maybe you could reduce the salt next time?

hey Patricia, many thanks for your compliments =)

novice baker, although it seems like alot of work, it's actually quite straight forward...you just need to spend a little more time to roll, fold and shape the bread. Do try it! I am sure you'll get a lot of satisfaction when you see the many swirls and twirls ;)

Elyn said...

Beautiful! I'm running out of words to describe :P

I can't wait to try again too!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Elyn, can't wait to see your bread :))

Brilynn said...

Oh wow! That looks amazing! I love the swirls and the way it's twisted on top.

Anne said...

The chocolate swirls are really pretty :) Well done!

^cherie said...


I love it! U're getting really good ;)

shiyan said...

hey Homebaker

this is really lovely. I really like the swirls and the bread look so fluffy. Superb! I bet it tastes great.
Thanks for the recipe and the steps. Would really like to try them out but I am still having some problems in kneading breads with my mixer. Hope I can sort it out asap to get my hands on this. =)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Shiyan, I will be waiting to see your posting on this :)
Have fun baking!

Anonymous said...

Wow, love the chocolate swirls!! Can u clarify
a) in Step 2....wrap both ends of dough to cover choc sheet...do u mean the 20cm sides on the Left n Right?
b) in step 3....roll dough from centre to the edges to form a 45cm x 20cm rectangle....do u mean roll out from centre to the Right n Left of the 20cm sides( of the 15cm x 20cm rectangle )?


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Carolyn
a) yes, you are right
b) yes
You could also refer to the photos in the original recipe here. Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

I did refer to the photos in the original recipe but they kinda dun make sense. I will follow ur way. Thks, HHB!

Btw, whts ur name? HHB is such a mouthful!


Anonymous said...


I tried this recipe. Somehow I have problem rolling out the bread dough, no matter how I roll, it still remains very thick. Then after I bake it, i realised that the bread is not as fluffy as w/o rolling. Do i need a longer waiting time after I roll it? I wonder how ppl manager to roll the bread dough to so thin to make those mini rolls....any tips?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, it could be due to the kneading. You have to make sure that the dough is kneaded till it becomes smooth and very elastic. Take a small piece of dough and try to pull it, it should not tear off easily and your should be able to stretch it till very thin without tearing.

After the first proofing, you can shape the dough into a round and let it Rest for about 10-15mins. This resting time will help to relax the dough so that it will be more elastic for easy rolling. Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...


thanks, I will try tt again. Btw i am also using the same brand of bread maker. Usually after letting the machine knead for 30 mins, I do not hand knead it further (due to laziness :p) do you have to hand knead it to get the right texture?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, nowadays I also let the bread machine knead for 30mins, thereafter I'll let the dough proof in room temperature. I don't hand knead it anymore, me too, very lazy ;')

Chris said...

Hi Happy Homemaker,
Your choc bread looks so nice. I have tried this twice, 1st time was a flop, 2nd time the choc was ok but when i was trying to roll it out to 45 x 20cm, the choc paste oozed out. No choice, couldn't get the same kind of swirl but the bread tasted great; soft n fluffy. Guess i have to try another time to see if i can get the choc swirl to co-operate. Thks for the recipe n the link! Chris

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Chris, I have problem with the chocolate paste too! Try to cook the paste till it is very very thick, until you have problem tryint to stir it. Then chill it well. After wrapping and rolling the dough/chocolate paste, place the dough in the fridge to chill it. This helps the chocolate paste to set a bit, before the next rolling. The way to go is to try to prevent the chocolate paste from melting. Good luck for your next attempt, happy baking :D

Quinn said...

Do you think this will bake nicely in a pullman tin, baked with lid on? I don't quite understand when do we use a pullman tin and when do we bake in a normal loaf pan. I remember you commented on someone's blog that the top of the bread would be very hard if it is baked uncovered. How about the texture of this bread? Was the top hard too? I really wanna try baking this. Thanks a lot!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Quinn,
For this loaf, I baked it in a loaf pan without the cover. I personally think it is better to bake without the cover so that you can see the nice patterns/swirl on the top of the loaf.

Basically I use a pullman tin and bake the loaf with the cover if I want to make a square sandwich loaf. Otherwise, I will bake without the cover, to achieve a 'mountain-shape' loaf. This bread is soft and the crust was not hard with just a little crisp. I am sorry, but I can't remember which blog I have made that comment. Do let me know so that I can take a look at what I have said, as most bread (except a square loaf) can be baked without the lid.

Quinn said...

Hi HHB, first of all, thank you so much in replying all my concerns in a long detailed email. I appreciate that a lot. Secondly, I've found your comment here:


But this is with reference to the plaited loaf(your playdough post). I guess guessing hard crust is obtained on a case by case basis.

Thanks again!
Good day!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Quinn, thanks for referring the link! Now I got it, you were referring to the green tea/chocolate marble loaf, and not this chocolate swirl loaf ;p
Yes, I did tried another recipe from the same author...I baked w/o the lid, and the crust turned out a little too hard...which don't seems to happen to other recipes?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love the look of those chocolate swirls in the bread! This is the first time that I've come across your website and it is fantastic.
My parents love 綿綿土司-style breads and I am going to try your recipes (especially this chocolate swirl bread!) to bake for them. Thank you for all of your hard work in translating, typing up and sharing these recipes!

Apest said...

I love your blog, such a daily ispiration!
Just a question: half an egg in bread dough means an entire egg previously batted and poured together with the liquids (just the half you need). I think this is quite obvious to everyone but just in case, is that way or I have to divide half yolk and half white without mixing them?
(hope it's clear, I'm italian, and English is not my mothertongue.)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Apest, thank you for your kind words :)
Yes, for half an egg, just lightly beat an egg and use half of it, you don't have to divide the yolk and white separately. Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

Can i use milk only instead of whipping cream?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, this bread recipe is made with whipping cream, I am not sure whether you can replace it with milk. I suggest you use another bread recipe (posted under "Milk Loaf"), but follow the shaping method as outlined here. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Can i use your sweet buns recipe to make this bread? If can do i need to double the recipe?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I have not tried using the sweet buns recipe for this. You can give it a try. I am not too sure which recipe you are referring to when you ask about doubling it. For the sweet bun recipe, I use halve the original recipe, which is equivalent to this dough recipe. Hope this helps.

evesauraus said...

Hi, do u cater to order? am hoping to order from u, but would like to make special request to modify the recipe such that the bread is made as low fat as possible. My family's live on a fat-free diet and takes only low fat types of foods the most, yet it's very difficult to find bakeries or confectioneries who can cater to our special dietary requests. Thus, our resort is to seek home bakers.. Do let me know if u're willing to help. Thanks aplenty.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi evesauraus, thanks for your enquiry, I am sorry I do not bake for sale as I am not a qualified or professional baker. I hope you are able to find someone who can cater to your diet, cheers!

luvablekids said...

hi there, do you have any bread recipe without the need of a bread maker machine?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi luvablekids, all the bread recipes posted here can be made by hand. Instructions on how to knead by hand can be found in recipes such as "Matcha Red Bean Loaf", "Sweet Buns", "Chocolate Marble Bread II", etc. Hope this helps.

luvablekids said...

thank you...will try out as soon as I can find time :)have a great day.

Anonymous said...

I've just found out about your blog when i was looking for bread recipes and i tried the recipe above. but instead of baking it into a loaf, i made individual buns. unfortch, it didn't come out quite as i expected. the crust was rather thick and the bread was kinda dense and dry. i tried to follow ur recipe as close as i could, except that i used my kitchenaid dough hook to knead as i don't have a bread machine. i knead for abt 20-25 mins on speed 2. this is my 2nd attempt at baking bread. the first one was as hard as rock.

may i noe what's the common mistake ppl make? i might have done the same thing. and does it matter if i make it to smaller buns instead of loaf? coz i tried to do the layering, i couldn't get the dough to flatten and make it into rectangular shape, it keeps pulling back to it's original shape. so i just fold the choco paste and made the dough into a ball.

phew, sorry for the lengthy post. hope u could help me out as i love bread so much n hope to make a good one myself. thanks!! (:


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Cara, I suspect the dough was not well kneaded. Did you knead till the dough pass the window pane test? ie the dough can be stretched and pull into a thin membrane without tearing?
Buns will tend to be slightly denser in texture than a loaf bread...you can compare a soft bread roll with a slice of sandwich loaf...the texture is different. I think you didn't let the dough 'rest' enough...you need to leave it to relax (for 15-20mins) so that it will be easier to roll out without it shrinking back. This bread is not that easy to make...as the chocolate paste has to be the right consistency for it to roll together with the dough. Maybe for a start, you may want to try with simple sweet bun recipe?

Anonymous said...

thanks for ur reply! yea i think i didn't knead enough cuz i thot half an hr is quite long already. btw when u said leave it to relax, after which stage? after the kneading or the proofing just before baking the bread?

thanks again! (:


Happy Homebaker said...

Cara, after the first proof, you will need to punch down the dough to release the air. Then smooth it into a round ball, and let it rest for 15-20mins, before shaping (rolling out, etc) it. In between rolling, if the dough is still very elastic (ie keeps shrinking upon rolling), you can also leave it (covered) for 5 to 10mins to let is rest...and it will be easier to roll and won't shrink that much. After you have shaped the dough into buns or loaf, you need to let it proof the second time before baking.
You can read more about bread making from this site: baking911.com. Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing! I have to try this and be more adventurous with baking and you make it look so delicious and easy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB, is the whipping cream the non-dairy type?


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi JerJer, I used dairy cream.

Harmony said...


Do you think this could work with a cinnamon filling instead of chocolate? It looks really really awesome! I hope I can do as good a job as you! :D

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Harmony, I don't think it will be easy to use cinnamon filling, I am afraid the dough will be quite difficult to handle.

Anonymous said...

Hi, HHB, can i use the Nestle pure dairy sterilised cream to replace the whipping cream? Or the redman whip topping cream? Both r sweet compared to the non-dairy whipping cream so i m not sure how it'll affect the taste of the bread. Thks.


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jer, do use dairy whipping cream for this recipe. Besides the taste, whipping cream has got the fat content which helps to make the bread soft, the texture will be affected if you were to replace it with non dairy cream of pouring cream.

Anonymous said...

Thks HHB, juz bought e dairy whipping cream fm Phoon Huat. Will try baking tis tmr. Is one round of kneading by e bread machine enough cos i c most recommend 2 rds of kneading to get a softer bread. Does ur bread machine oso start with the 'rest' mode? I find tis a bit time consuming if using a 2nd rd of kneading? I juz bought my 1 lb Zojirushi bread maker n I'm still exploring. Glad to hear advice fm expert like u:)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jer, you can use the Dough function to knead the bread. The dough function will need the bread continuously for 20mins without stopping in between. Yes, you can run it for two rounds especially if the dough is wet and sticky.

SugarHeart said...

Hi!! I made this bread exactly as you wrote it and exactly as you instructed. it came out beautiful and delicious! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is just wonderful! Can you tell me the measurements of your bread tin? thank you,


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Valentina, I baked this using a loaf pan, 8.5"x4.5"x2.5"(inches).