Yes, it's real bread! Not chocolate cake dressed up to look like bread...the real thing, yeast and all. We fell in love with this bread years ago when we were traveling around Michigan. Someone tipped us off to this marvelous wonder at Zingerman's bakery in Ann Arbor. While it was decadent then, at around $6 a loaf, we treasured the flavor and picked up a loaf whenever we were in the area. I was just thinking about it last week when their Christmas catalog arrived in the mail. My, have times changed...it's now $17.50!! So...back to the kitchen to try and reproduce the memory of that hauntingly delicious flavor.
I made it in small tins which makes it the perfect gift for the holidays. And...my favorite way of eating it is with a smear of ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon, along side a cup of coffee. MMMMMmmmmm Christmas morning, here we come!
And then there's those slices in the late afternoon with the snow lightly falling, with a small glass of Port, in front of the fireplace, in the glow of the brightly lit Christmas tree. Oh yeah...I was dreaming...no fireplace, and the tree's not up yet, and the Port is still in the store...A girl can dream, can't she?
Step 1: Gather the Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup warm strong coffee (105-115 degrees F.)
½ cup mini chocolate chips
6 ounces dried tart cherries (about ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon oil to coat the bowl
1 tablespoon butter to grease the pans and the tops of the loaves