I've been making a lot of breads lately. This one is a sweet yeast bread that is quickly disappearing, as Boyfriend and I gnaw away on it all day long.
Chocolate Cherry Stout Bread
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 1/2 cups flour, divided
1/2 rolled oats
10 ounces of chocolate stout (any stout will do, really, including Guinness)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried tart cherries (Trader Joe’s has them)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk but would opt for semisweet the next time around, or a dark bar coarsely chopped)
1 teaspoon water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Add the sugar to the warm water, then add the yeast and stir gently with a whisk.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, and the beer in a big bowl. Add the yeast and stir with a whisk. Leave at room temperature (or slightly warmer) for at least four hours. Then refrigerate it another 4 hours or overnight. Be sure there is room in the bowl for the bread to rise, because it will!
Remove mixture from refrigerator, but do not uncover. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature.
The dough should be huge.
Add to it the cherries (soaked and drained). Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, oats, and salt. Add this to the dough, stirring until a soft dough forms. It should be sticky and messy. Don’t add too much flour!
Place the dough in an oiled bowl (use canola oil, vegetable oil, or cooking spray), cover it loosely, and leave it alone for another hour or two.
Dust the top of the dough with flour. Turn it out onto a floured surface. Add the chocolate to the top of the dough and fold them in as if you were kneading the dough. You don’t really have to knead it, though. Just flip, fold, and turn it a few times to distribute the chocolate. Place it back in the oiled bowl. Leave it alone for a half hour.
Use either parchment paper or flour to line a baking sheet. Shape the dough into either one 9-inch round or two 4-inch rounds. Cut an X on the top of the dough. Let it rest on top of the warm oven, loosely covered with a dish towel, for 15 minutes while the oven is preheating to 400 degrees F.
Combine the egg white and remaining teaspoon of water. Uncover the dough and brush it with the egg wash.
Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 or 350 and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes. The bread should be browned lightly and should sound hollow when tapped. Enjoy while still warm.