What’s more delicious than fresh, homemade bread? Well, fresh, homemade sweet bread, I say. I have made my fair share of homemade breads but I have recently been introduced into a whole new world of breads, in particular, sweet breads. I am so excited to be teaming up with Sage for Real Bread Week and share my love for breads.
For my very first sweet bread, I created my two favorite sweet flavors together, dark chocolate and grated coconut, into the most delicious sweet bread recipe ever. I was so impressed with my very first bread coming out so scrumptious. It was like filling the house full of that fresh baking bread smell and yet biting into it was that sweet bitter combo I love so much. It was soft and fluffy like bread but the sweetness was just enough to make you feel guilty for eating it. It tasted just as good with melted butter on top or cream cheese. The kids went absolutely crazy over it.
I have never used a bread maker before so I was ecstatic to test out Sage’s fab Custom Loaf Pro bread maker. I went in not having any expectations of what it could create and do but I really am impressed with how much one bread maker can create. The recipe book it comes with had a variety of types, sizes, flavors and more. There is so much to learn about bread making and the beauty is the machines smart enough to do it all for me.
It really was as easy as plugging the machine in, layering the ingredient in order of the list from recipe book, choose your settings, push start, and you have fresh homemade bread. It was super easy to clean and set the settings for your bread too. There is a compartment at the top where you see I put my dark chocolate in so that it automatically adds the chocolate at the right time. This is where you might put raisins for fruit breads or other add flavors that you create yourself.
Whether you are baking bread, pizza, pasta, dough or even making jam fillings this machine will be your friend. It’s so easy to use. As you can see above you choose the category, size if applicable, and there is a great status bar that tells you what it’s doing as it does it. You can follow along the whole process. I let my bread go all the way through mixing, rising, and baking but you can press pause and shape your bread if you want it to be a different shape or a nice roll. There is also a delay start mode if you want it fresh and ready when you walk in the door from work. The world is slowly going Gluten Free well there is a category for that all on it’s own.
It’s so easy even the kids love helping me make bread now. I let them measure out and throw all the ingredients in the pan and then I just have to drop it in and push start. They really feel like they are helping out in the kitchen which is great.
I think my favorite thing about the Loaf Pro besides that it does all the work, is that you can make a variety of sizes of loaves. If I am hostessing a party I can make large loaves and for just us or sweet breads I can make little loaves. I love having that option so there is no waste of homemade bread. That surely is a sin, right?
Dark Chocolate Coconut Bread
- 250 ml Water
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 450 g Bread Flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Milk Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Yeast: active dry
- 90 g Green & Black Dark Chocolate
- 60 g Grated Coconut
USING THE CUSTOM LOAF PRO
Add all ingredients in order except for dark chocolate chunks, you will add these to the automatic dispenser at the top. Choose your settings and push start.
MAKE WITHOUT A BREAD MACHINE
Tip the flour into a bowl and mix in the yeast with the salt, brown sugar, milk powder and cocoa. Stir in the water, oil.
Now knead together to make a soft dough – using hands or a wooden spoon or knife.
Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins. (don't skip this)
Note: Don’t keep adding flour, a wet dough is better than a dry one, which will bake to a tough texture so if you don’t like the dough sticking to your hands, lightly oil them.
Gently fold in chopped up dark chocolate chunks and coconut.
Put the dough into an oiled 1kg bread tin and cover with oiled cling film.
Put in a warm place until the bread fills the tin, it should take between 1-2 hrs.
Uncover and bake your bread at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30-35 mins until golden.
Tip out of the tin and tap the base of the loaf. It should sound hollow when fully cooked.
If not cooked, put loaf back in the oven out of the tin and test again after 5-10 mins.
Serve this bread on its own, warm with butter, or add cream cheese for a delightful afternoon snack.
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I am teamed up with Sage and sharing some of Heston’s baking tips for all bread making not just in bread makers. Check them out below and let bread making come easier to you.
Heston’s hints and tips for bread making
- Bread and pastry all begin with dough. But what makes them so different? The key here is liquid, temperature and relaxation (and I am not talking about relaxing at the pub with a pint!). Liquids such as water react with gluten proteins in the flour to make the dough more elastic. Hence adding water to flour, as well as kneading, will promote elasticity in the dough – also known as gluten development. This is great when creating bread.
- A pre-ferment containing just flour, yeast and water will help add flavour and texture to the bread. Most pre-ferments take approximately 24 hours. Once comfortable with this method, some ingredients can be substituted for added flavour.
- When working with wet doughs such as brioche burger buns, it is very important to sift all of the dry ingredients. This will help avoid any lumps in the ingredients in the dough.
- Excess flour is an issue when shaping or balling the bread dough. While working on the Burger recipe for In Search of Perfection 2, I found that a little water on the bench helps shaping the dough as it gets a bit of traction with the surface of the table or board.
- Baking is a science – each ingredient has a particular reason for being part of the recipe – more than just flavour. It is important to accurately measure the quantities of each of the ingredients.
- When using freeze-dried yeast, adding lukewarm water to a bowl and the yeast with a little sugar will help kick start the fermentation process.
- When mixing the ingredients, it is important not to add the salt and the yeast together. Salt can stop the yeast from fermenting. Salt and yeast can be added at different steps when making the dough.