How to make it

  • Mix about one cup of the flour, the yeast, and the heated water until smooth.
  • This will hydrate the instant yeast.
  • If you are using other than instant yeast, hydrate the yeast separately.
  • . Add the brown sugar, cocoa, butter, salt, and egg and mix.
  • Add enough of the remaining bread flour to make a soft but not tacky dough.
  • Knead until the gluten is developed, about four minutes with a stand-type mixer at medium speed.
  • Set the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it stand until doubled, about one hour.
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth.
  • Add the melted chocolate while it is still hot and mix until smooth.
  • Add the sugar, flour, egg yolk, vanilla, and nutmeg and mix until smooth.
  • Once the dough has risen, use a knife to divide the dough into three equal pieces.
  • Roll the dough pieces with a rolling pin to rectangles 15 inches by 5 inches.
  • Spread one-third of the filling down the center of each leaving a one-inch border with no filling.
  • Roll the rectangle into fifteen-inch long ropes with the filling inside.
  • Pinch any seams together and roll the ropes with your hands on the counter until smooth.
  • Braid the three ropes as if you were braiding pigtails. (Some people find it easier to create a symmetrical shape if they start braiding from the center.)
  • When you get to the ends, wet them, pinch them together, and tuck them under.
  • You should have a neat, symmetrical loaf when you are through.
  • You can shape the loaf somewhat with your hands.
  • If you don't like how the loaf looks, simply pull the braids apart and start again.
  • Prepare a large baking sheet by greasing it and sprinkling it with cornmeal.
  • Place the loaf on the pan, cover the loaf, and let it rise until doubled, about one hour.
  • . Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake the bread for 20 minutes then cover the bread with a large sheet of aluminum foil and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes to until done.
  • The bread should “thump” when tapped on the bottom and the interior of the loaf should register 190 degrees with an insta-read thermometer.
  • Let the bread cool on a wire rack.
  • While the bread is cooling, make the glaze.
  • With a hand-held mixer, beat one ounce cream cheese with one teaspoon vanilla.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa with enough warm water to make a glaze of drizzling consistency.
  • Drizzle the chocolate glaze generously over the bread.

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