This post is not about Halloween, but about my son, Carlos Jr. I want to, somehow, dedicate the month of October to him, and what better way to do it than by recounting one of my kitchen adventures with him.
About two weeks ago, during one of those weekends at home, Carlos came up to me after watching one of his favorite Anime cartoons, and asked me if he could make bread. I was astonished. Never before he showed any interest in the culinary arts, but today he wanted to venture into the complicated world of bread making. My experience in the kitchen is not too broad. I am not a professional chef, but I am not afraid of embarking in new enterprises. Although, he made me ask myself where this new acquired interest came from.
Not wanting to formulate any other questions that would scare him away from the kitchen, I turned to my treasured cookbooks. In fact, I have one on that topic. It is a Spanish book that I accidentally found in a small shop in a little town in Tenerife, Canary Islands. At the time, I did not know why I wanted it but, destiny made me buy it. It is called "Pan recién hecho", which translated would be freshly made bread, from Parragon Books, United Kingdom.
He looked through it until he found what he wanted to bake: Chocolate bread. We got all the ingredients ready. Carlos was all set and ready to get his hands on the dough.
He knitted the dough, added water, flour, chocolate chips and anything that the recipe called for. He followed instructions faithfully, and as it turned out, the chocolate bread came out perfect.
The following is the recipe taken directly from the book "Pan recién hecho" from Parragon Books, U.K. and translated by me.
- 2 cups of flour, plus more to dust the pan
- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
- a dash of salt
- 1tablespoon of butter cut in little squares
- 1/2 teaspoons of clarified butter to spread over the bread
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 1 pack of active yeast
- 2/3 of a cup of warm water
- 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
- Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray to prevent the bread from sticking to the pan once it is all done. Sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Add the butter cut in squares, the sugar and the active yeast.
- Slowly pour into the mix the water, turning with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to form. Work the dough with your hands and then transfer it to a working table covered with parchment paper, dust some flour and work it again for about 10 more minutes.
3. Add the chocolate chips, and transfer to a bowl. Cover it with a wet cloth and let it sit in a warm place for 1 hour and a half.
4. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F.) Bake the bread for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190º C (375º F) and keep baking it for 15 minutes.
5. Take the chocolate bread out of the oven and transfer it to a wire rack. Brush it with the clarified butter and cover with a kitchen cloth to let it cool.
This is Carlos' final product following the above recipe. I can assure that it tasted delicious and it became our mid day snack. It was gone in a matter of minutes. Que aproveche!