Saturday, 23 January 2010

Chocolate Ring Loaf Bread

I made this bread by hand.

Yes it is a loaf bread not a chiffon cake. It is baked in a chiffon cake pan instead of a loaf tin or a round baking pan.

I had to made this bread from scratch by hand as my bread machine has finally decided to call it quits after being subject to three years of abuse ^_^' After I had placed all the ingredients in the bread pan, the kneading blade just refused to move. I thought I had merely over heated the machine while trying to bake that corn flakes loaf a week ago. I left the machine alone for a few days, thinking it should get its act together in no time. I have no luck.

From now on, I will have to knead bread by hand :'( I won't be getting a replacement since the Dough function is the only function I have been using. I do not own a standing mixer and I don't have any intention to get one, yet. A standing mixer has never been in my wish list. A good one will burnt my pocket (which is in fact empty all the time); and I know myself very well, it would probably turn into a white elephant. Even with my frequent baking, I hardly use my old and trusted hand-held mixer (which is already in its late 20s). I convinced myself with a list of advantages of making bread by hand while I was kneading this bread:
  • there will be one less item (machine's bread pan) to clean up;
  • wrestling continuously for 20 to 30mins with a bread dough is an excellent work out, and it's free;
  • I will be able to 'connect' to the dough, whether the recipe yields very wet and sticky dough or one that is easier to handle;
  • I will be able tell when the dough has sufficiently be kneaded...whether it has reached the required smoothness and elasticity;
  • there will never ever be a danger of over-kneading the dough by hand;
  • sinking my hands into a lump of dough is not very much different from squeezing a stress-relieve ball...soothing and therapeutic; not forgetting the frequent slapping of the dough down on the table...a great avenue to drive away any bad memories;
  • it's a labour of love...I will like to make myself believe that I will be able to impart a better flavour to the bread;
  • without using the machine, maybe I could help reduce the tonnes of carbon footprint I leave behind every year.
Let me know if I have left out any other points. Having said that, I think I may have to start looking at making no-knead breads, in fact, I just borrowed a book "Kneadlessly Simple", I hope I will be able to get something out of it :)

Ok, back to this 'ring' loaf bread. It is a cocoa flavoured bread. The inside is supposed to be filled with chocolate paste, but I was too lazy to make it from scratch, so I used chocolate-peanut butter, if I have nutella on hand, I think it will work just as fine. After spreading the chocolate paste, the bread is covered with chocolate flavoured corn flakes before it is being rolled up.

The loaf rose beautifully while baking in the oven. How I wish my chiffon cakes would rise as high! Unmolding the loaf was quite tricky, unlike a chiffon cake, this loaf has to be removed immediately when it is still hot.

This bread was really good when it had just cooled off. The texture was very soft and fluffy, the three of us finished one quarter of it during tea time. However, it aged quite the next morning, it had turn a little hard and dry even though I have kept it in an airtight container. Maybe because there is no egg in it? and I notice the amount of butter in the recipe is also very little. To get around with it, I wrapped the bread with foil and warm it in the oven before serving, and it tasted freshly baked. The corn flakes filling was a great disappointment. It became soft and chewy after between sandwiched insides the loaf :'( The next time I were to make this, I will skip the corn flakes.

Chocolate Ring Loaf Bread

(makes one 7" round loaf)

300g bread flour
6g instant yeast
20g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
6g salt
165g lukewarm water
45g fresh milk
15g unsalted butter
some chocolate peanut butter or nutella spread
some chocolate corn flakes
some icing sugar

  1. Stir bread flour, caster sugar, salt, cocoa powder and instant yeast in a mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add in water and milk. Mix the ingredients with hand and slowly form into a dough.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until the dough comes together and becomes smooth, about 10mins. (The dough will be quite wet and sticky initially.)
  4. Knead the butter into the dough. The dough will become greasy, wet and sticky again. Continue to knead for about 10 - 20 mins until the dough no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. Do the window pane test: pinch a small portion of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart.
  5. Place dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 to 30 degC) for about one hour, or until double in bulk.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and give a few light kneading to press out the gas in the dough. Roll into a round ball. Cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let the doughs rest for 10mins.
  7. Flatten the dough into a disc and roll into a rectangular shape, about 25cm x 30cm. Spread the dough surface with chocolate peanut butter or nutella. Leave about a 1cm gap on each side. Sprinkle with chocolate cornflakes. Fold in about 1 inch for each of the four sides.
  8. Roll up from the shorter side swiss-roll style to form a log, pinch and seal the seam. Carefully roll the log on the table to lengthen it to about 40cm in length.
  9. Place doughs in a greased chiffon pan (7"). Seal and pinch the ends. Cover with damp cloth or cling wrap and leave dough to proof for the second time for about 30mins, or until the doughs almost reach the rim of the chiffon pan.
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 deg C for 20 mins or until golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Leave it to cool for 3mins and sieve over some icing sugar. Let cool completely before slicing. To help the bread stay fresh store in airtight container.
Recipe source: adapted from 做面包真简单, 太 田ひとみ


Quinn said...

Nice bread HHB!

The only point I could think of is really to release stress! When anyone pisses me off especially partner/spouse/boyfriend, I'll knead them like that and slap them on the table and work the hell out of them!

Haha, sorry this is a kids and family friendly site, no more violence for you!

martina said...

a bread machine hasn't been in my wishlist!! For all the points you make it. It's really a great workout... I noticed a great improvement in my neckline since I've start kneading! So keep it up, everything tastes better with your hand in it!
Hug Martina

Anonymous said...

Wow! HHB, your bread in chiffon pan looks GREAT!
i also do not hv any of those machines, not even hand held whisk. But like you i hv been having fun baking breads, chiffon cakes, butter cakes etc. Also i did not attend any baking courses. But all credit goes to you cos you teach me through your blogging with all the carefully listed step-by-step method of each recipe. Thank you very much, dear. I am really grateful to you :)

PiggyMummy said...

What a lovely 'ring' of bread!

Thanks to all your lovely photos of bread, and many bread recipes, I have started making my own bread =) It's a wonderful workout, kneading the bread dough! My friend laughed at me and said "Now I know why the Prata guy has such big biceps!".

Now I have a good excuse to buy a chiffon pan ... to make chiffon cakes and use it for bread as well!

lyekuan ;-)

tracieMoo said...

Aww.. my bread machine died too. Time to get exercising. haha. A better way to look at it :P
This is definitely a great bread. I've always wanted to make chocolate bread. Maybe I should during my cny holidays!

Aimei said...

Wow great job! Your kneading skills is as good as using a bread machine. The bread looks soft and fluffy. You have compiled a ver interesting list. From the results looks like it'd justified you don't need a a new bread machine. :D

I wish my bread machine will be able to hang on with me thru the thicks and thins till I own a stand mixer one day. Otherwise I don't think i'll have the patience to knead a bread dough. ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Lately we've seen and started using cake baking tins to bake our breads. It's great isn't it?! Great looking loaf by the way. I guess anything (the cornflake i.e.) that is not toasted tends to adsorb most of the moisture in the bread. But good try though, you wouldn't know until you tested it. :)

Kathleen Kiew said...


My bread is undergoing the second proofing as I type this comment! :) Would like to thank you for this great idea coz my 2 year old son likes peanut butter and bread. Why not combine them into one like yours? So I tried it out and I added raisins instead of cornflakes (MIL likes raisins).

FYI, I do not own a bread machine as well, have been kneading bread by hand. Tiring of course but I love to feel the texture as I knead and seeing how it all come together gives me a sense of achievements. LOL... anyhow, will let you know how my bread turn out. Thanks

Elyn said...

Hi HBB, I've not tried my Bread machine for quite a while, not sure if it's still working. And look like I need to learn from you and create a list why I do not need to buy any more cookbooks!

Khadija El Mary (Mamatkamal) said...

Your bread cooked in chiffon pan looks wonderful!

Irene's Footprints said...

Good idea to use the chiffon pan for bread. I love your chiffon pan, don't think Phoon Huat carries this.

Lovely bread.
: )

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Hahaha, I love the list of the advantages you listed, I'm start to think whether I need to buy a stand mixer or not, have not buy till now because the price..Anyway, this bread look so perfect!!

Angie's Recipes said...

wow wow The bread ring looks truly awesome!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Irene, I got my chiffon pan from Phoon Huat.

Cheah said...

This bread looks good. I've never tried making bread by hand, only used the breadmaker. Think it's high time I do so.

Kitchen Corner said...

haha..I thought it's chiffon cake. The bread sit nicely in the chiffon pan. You're truly creative! Nicely baked bread and rise up very even from the tin. Admire your work!

Bobby said...

I love to bake however because of me being a full time student and a full time job at narconon drug and alcohol rehab canter i do not have very much time.

tigerfish said...

What beats a cake that is homemade...:D

Ronni said...


Thanks for being my inspiration.
I am passing a blog award to you. Come collect it k?


WendyinKK said...

I once made bread in a tube pan too, but I made it with ham and cheese as my filling.
I didn't connect the ends of the roll as beautifully as urs.
The dusting of icing sugar really makes ur bread very pretty.

Unknown said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Anonymous said...

Dear HHB,can u advise if there is any difference btw instant yeast n instant dry yeast?are they e same?i used e latter.after kneading for 40mins (after adding butter),it was still sticky,failed window pane test!after an hr half,if didnt really double in size : ( can u enlighten me pls?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Nic, Instant yeast is different from Active Dry yeast, you may refer to this site for the details (
For instant yeast, you can mix it together with the other dry ingredients directly, whereas for Active Dry yeast, you need to mix it with some water before using.
After kneading for 40mins, the dough should no longer stick to your hands, maybe you can dust the dough with some flour as you knead?

Anonymous said...

Thanks HHB for yr prompt response : ) my hard work resulted a 'golden pillow' lookalike,other than e color!The outer crust is hard like a rock!obviously it didnt double so i decided to dump it in a normal loaf pan to try my luck.anyway,i wlll try again nxt,my arms,shoulder are aching so much : ( thanks HHB.u are so helpful.btw,i LOVE yr blog!have been following for quite share your recipes so selflessly n always provide details.u are NOT long winded at all.u are juz GREAT!