Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off - Guatemalan Hot Chocolate Bread

My blogging friend Ivy of Kopiaste has tagged me to participate in the Worldwide Blogger Bake-off for Breadline Africa. Breadline Africa is a charity based in South Africa and works towards ending poverty in Africa by helping communities achieve long-term self-sustainability.

Breadline Africa was founded in 1993 by a group of community and social workers in South Africa and like-minded colleagues in Europe. Together they have raised funds in Europe and identified small, ground-level projects in Africa that are most likely to succeed with a financial boost.

On Blog Action Day, Breadline Africa launched their Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off campaign. The aim is to raise $1 million in funds for a project to convert shipping containers into locations for food production and distribution in Africa. It is hoped that these sustainable community kitchens will not only provide food such as bread and soup to those in need, but also opportunities for skills development within poor communities.

If you would like to join the Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off, details can be found here. These are some of the ways in which you could be a part of the campaign.

* Join the campaign.
* Submit your bread baking recipe.
* Make a donation to Breadline Africa.
* Vote for your favourite recipe.
* Bake a loaf of bread and blog about it.
* Bake many loaves of bread and host a bake sale.

Bloggers who would like to bake for this cause may use the widget on their blogs and tag 5 other bloggers to Bake Bread, Give Dough and Feed Africa.

I have baked Guatemalan Hot Chocolate Bread from the Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook by Leslie Mackie to draw attention to this cause. I believe that it is a fitting choice, as the Macrina bakers first made this bread to raise funds for a fire-damaged library in Guatemala.

I was attracted to this bread, not only for its chocolate flavour, but also because it is packed with chocolate chunks and almonds. Here is the dough during rising - doesn't it look good enough to eat as is:

The only problem that I had in making this is that the weather was unseasonably horrible and cold, so my yeast wasn't awfully keen on performing. This explains the rather flattish shape of my loaf.

To make this bread, you will need:

1/3 cup whole blanched almonds

4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup full fat milk
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sifted plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
75g coarsely chopped dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
water for spraying

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Tost the almonds on a lined baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before coarsely chopping them. Turn off the oven.

Warm the milk slightly, then add to the bowl of your electric mixer, together with the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and the vailla extract. Whisk together, then leave for 5 minutes.

Add the rest of the sugar to the bowl, together with the almond extract, eggs, cocoa, flour and salt. Using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix the ingredients on low speed for 2 minutes, then turn up the speed to medium and drop small pieces of pieces of butter into the dough. Once all the butter is combined, keep mixing for 12-14 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then add the chocolate and almonds, and mix for another 2 minutes to combine.

Turn the dough out onto a floured bench and form it inot a ball. Put the dough ball into an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave the dough to rise for 2 hours, when it should have almost doubled in size.

Turn the dough back out onto a floured benchtop, and flatten it with your hands. Pull the edges of the dough to the top, and repeat until you have a tight ball. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or baking paper, and place the ball of dough in the centre of the tray. Cover it with cling film and allow to rise for 1 hour, when it should have doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Remove the cling film from the dough and spray it lightly with water. Sprinkle the top of the dough with cinnamon sugar and bake in the oven for 1 hour until the loaf is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool the bread on a wire rack before slicing.

I nominate the following bloggers to make bread for the Bake-Off (apologies if you've already been nominated - you needn't participate again):

Tammy of
Wee Treats by Tammy

Susan of

Arfie of

The Caked Crusader

Deb of
Coffee, Cake and Chocolate



The Blonde Duck said...

It looks tasty to me! If only I wasn't allergic to chocolate!

I love your twofer pie as well! It looks so tasty!

Rosie said...

What a gorgeous bread and baked for such a good cause! You know how much I adore chocolate..... ;)

Rosie x

The Caked Crusader said...

ooh, a scary nomination - you know my feelings about yeast!
I have some work trips in the offing so may not have time, but I will do my best!

Finla said...

Wonderful bread for a wonderful cause. Pity that it was cold weather.
Here now that winter is there, i keep my bread in the room were the heating system is.

Gretchen Noelle said...

This sounds delicious! I hope to bake it soon!

jesse said...

What a bonus, not only are you doing a world of good, but you're also doing it by creating something utterly delicious! I love it!

Gloria Baker said...

Your bread i absolutely nice and yummy!!! well done!!

Tammy said...

Thanks for nominating me. I hadnt heard of this, but I am definitely keen to participate. Is there a deadline? Your bread looks delicious!

Ivy said...

This is so interesting as I've never heard of chocolate bread before. It sounds perfect for breakfast. Here's a tip what I do when it's cold. I place the bowl with the dough in a baking tin which I fill with warm (not hot) water, until it rises. Thanks for baking, Cake.

Tammy said...

Hi Gaye

I have awarded you a blog award. See here:

Tammy :0)

Cakelaw said...

Oh no Blonde Duck! You can have an extra helping of twofer pie instead.

Thanks Rosie, and yes, I do - I love our most recent chocolate cake.

Hi Crusader, not to worry if you don't get time - but you are such a talented baker, I know that you can conquer yeast.

That's a good idea Happy Cook.

Thanks Gretchen :)

Thanks Jesse- I think it would be lovely with butter or even cream!

Thanks Gloria.

Hi Tammy, thanks. I am not aware of any deadline, so just when you get a chance.

Thanks for the tip Ivy - I will try that next time.

Thanks Tammy!

Anonymous said...

That looks so lovely and exotic-Guatemalen no less! Lovely idea too :)

Katie said...


...Happy Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

wow! a bread with a cause...and choco! i love this!

Anonymous said...

It still looks marvelous with the flat shape! I could eat this...all.
Thanks for the link to a great cause. I will check it out...

Anonymous said...

Tamsin here from Breadline Africa. Just popping by to say thanks for joining our campaign! And what a wonderful recipe.
We hope to finish up the campaign in October 09 so there's still plenty of time to bake and help us to reach our goal.
Just don't forget to add this to our Blogger Bake Off website! We have three categories in which you can win prizes, they are: Most Unusual; Most Traditional and; Most Nutritious. I think yours is a good contender for the Most Unusual. Looks great!
We're also in the process of getting our first newsletter together with information on projects that will benefit from the funds raised - lots to do!
Happy Baking and stay in touch.
Tamsin - Breadline Africa (Cape Town).

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Lorraine :)

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Katie.

Hi Rita, thanks.

Hi Diane, it is a great cause. If you were closer, you would be welcome to a heapin' helpin'.

Thanks for the heads up Tamsin, and congratulations on your good work promoting such a great cause.

Susan @ My Wholefood Family Essentials said...

Thanks for nominating me, I accept the challenge! Now to come up with a recipe ...

Cakelaw said...

Hi Susan, can't wait to see what you come up with.