White Chocolate Chip Bread

Update: Now with photos!

I wanted to include this recipe in The Bread Bible but it necessitated a second visit to Club Med by my cousin Elizabeth who gave me the recipe after a prior visit. The original recipe was all in metrics (no problem there) but included “Puratos” as one of the ingredients. Luckily I had learned about this interesting product, which is a sourdough starter sprayed onto the yeast, when I went on a bakery tour in Switzerland, sponsored by Albert Uster several years ago. I replaced it with my usual old sourdough starter and was delighted by the results.

The white chocolate chips (and be sure to use the variety that contains cocoa butter such as Nestle’s) melt and form little spaces in the bread which become coated with the chocolate forming a lacy crumb. I love it for breakfast or tea time (not that my work schedule allows for it) lightly toasted with butter and strawberry jam or sprinkled with cinnamon with just enough sugar to separate it for even distribution which is equal volume

WHITE CHOCOLATE BREAD CINNAMON TOAST

Recently I had a delightful conversation with head baker Louis Felix at the Martinique Club Med, who invited me to come down and bake with him saying that wonderful French phrase “Il faut mettre le main à la pâte” (which translates to: it is necessary to feel the dough. By the way, I’ve heard people mispronounce it as paté which would be not a good idea at all!) They no longer use the “Puratose” and they add a little vital wheat gluten as their flour is softer. Other differences that may interest you is that they use instant yeast equal in weight to the salt which is about 4 times the amount I use so the dough rises much faster. Also, they use 60% water, about 25% chocolate chips, and bake the loaf free form at 180˚C which is about 350˚F.

My version uses the old sour dough starter for extra flavor and shelf life and a slower rise, again for more flavor but the flavor and sweetness of the chocolate makes this less necessary. If you eliminate the starter, decrease the salt by 1/8 teaspoon (total 6.2 grams).

Oven Temperature: 425°F., then 400°F. (tent after 15 minutes)

Baking Time: About 30 minutes

White Chocolate Bread Club Med

Makes: An 8 inch by 4 inch by 4 1/4 inch high loaf, 21 ounces / 600 grams

White Chocolate Chip.jpg

Use 1 teaspoon yeast if room is below 80°F

Equipment: One 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 6 cup loaf pan, lightly greased

1) Make the dough

SPONGE

In a large bowl (mixer bowl if using a stand mixer), place 100 grams/3.5 ounces/2/3 cup of the flour, water, starter, and half the yeast. Whisk until very smooth to incorporate air, about 2 minutes. If using a bread machine scrape it into the container.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour with the remaining yeast and dust it over the sponge to form a blanket (completely covering it) Cover the container or bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 1 hour or up to 4 hours at room temperature.

Bread Machine Method:

Mix for 3 minutes, rest for 20, mix 3 minutes while adding the salt, and knead 7 minutes.

Mixer Method:

With the dough hook mix on low speed (#2 Kitchen Aid) about 1 minute, until the flour is moistened to form a rough dough. Scrape down any bits of dough. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes. Sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough on medium speed (#4 Kitchen Aid) for 7 minutes.

Both Methods:

The dough should be very elastic and smooth, and sticky enough to cling slightly to your fingers. If it is still very sticky knead in a little flour. If it is not at all sticky spray it with a little water and knead it. Add the white chocolate chips and knead another 3 minutes (The dough should weigh about 22.6 ounces/646grams---about 3 cups.)

2) Let the dough rise

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into an 2 quart dough rising container or bowl, greased lightly with cooking spray or oil. Push down the dough and lightly spray or oil the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark where double the height would be. Allow the dough to rise (ideally at 75°F to 80°F.) until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours to about 6 cups. Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, remove the dough to a floured counter and press down on it gently to form a rectangle. Give it 1 business letter turn, round the edges and return it to the bowl. Again, oil the surface, cover, mark where double the height will now be and allow it to rise for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (It will fill it fuller than before because it is puffier with air—to 2 quarts).

3) Shape the dough and let it rise

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and press it down to flatten it slightly. It will still be sticky but use only as much flour as absolutely necessary.

Gently press or lightly roll the dough with a rolling pin into a wide rectangle. (The long side of the dough should be facing towards you.) The exact size is not important at this point. Press the dough with your fingertips to deflate any large bubbles. Try to keep the chocolate chips from being exposed as they will caramelize if not covered by the dough. Place it in the prepared loaf pan (no more than 1/2 inch from the top of the pan—it was 1-inch from top).

Cover the shaped dough with a large container or oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise until almost doubled and when pressed gently with a finger the depression very slowly fills in. The highest point will be 1 inch higher than the sides of the pan. (If desired, you can do the entire shaped rise overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, allow it to finish rising, if necessary, at room temperature or if it has risen fully, allow it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.).

4) Preheat the oven:

1 hour before baking, set a baking stone or baking sheet toward the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 425˚F.

5) Bake the bread

Mist the dough with water, quickly but gently set the baking sheet on the hot stone or hot baking sheet and toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath. Immediately shut the door, reduce the heat to 400˚F, and bake 15 minutes. Turn the bread half way around, tent it with aluminum foil, and continue baking 15 to 20 or until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. (An instant read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 190°F.).

The Rose Ratio flour: 100% starter: 10.4% water: 66.6% yeast: 0.66% salt: 2% (of all flour including 23.1 grams in starter) chocolate is about 17% of the dough