Do you want to make a Valentines gift that is unique and personal? Why not try baking a heart shaped bread, and filling it with Crystallised Ginger, Cut Mixed Peel and Dark Chocolate Chips. This recipe is simple and easy to follow, so even if you’re not an experienced baker, you can still create this lovely treat. The end result is a delicious and moist bread, that is perfect for sharing with your loved one. So why not surprise them with this homemade gift, and let them know how much you care.
Why should I bake Heart Shaped Bread?
Not only is this bread a thoughtful and unique gift, it’s also packed full of health benefits. Bread is a good source of energy, and contains vitamins and minerals that are essential for our bodies. Chocolate is known to be an antioxidant, and can also help improve your mood. And finally, ginger has many medicinal properties, including relieving nausea and pain. So not only will this bread make your loved one feel special, it will also help them to stay healthy and happy.
So what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try today, and let us know how it turns out! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Happy baking!
How to knead wet dough
This being a very wet dough can be daunting at first and can lead to frustration. I would recommend trying the following steps to make things easier:
- Mix the ingredients together and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes, covered with wrap or a damp towel. This will allow the gluten structure to begin to form.
- Turn the rested mixture on to a work surface. Using the heel of your palm, gently push down into the top third of the dough and push away from you.
- As the dough is very sticky, it should stick to the heel of your palm and return when you pull your hand back. If it doesn’t, use a bread cutter or scraper to bring the dough back.
- Turn the dough 90° and repeat, the dough will start to come together and become less sticky.
Or you can slap it on the work surface, stretch the dough out and then fold it. Turn 90° , repeat same process you will get a nice smooth dough.
About the bread recipe
In my bread recipe you will see many percentages, these are know as the Bakers Percent.
Baker’s percent is a mathematical method widely used in baking to calculate the amounts of ingredients. Instead of dividing each ingredient’s weight by the total formula weight, bakers divide each ingredient by the weight of flour. Learn more here.
This will allow you to adjust the quantity to make more or less, easier.
Heart Shaped Chocolate Bread
- 200 g Strong Bread Flour (100%)
- 4 g Fast Yeast(2%)
- 3 g Salt(1.5%)
- 30 g Caster Sugar(15%)
- 12 g Cocoa Powder(6%)
- 30 g Beaten Egg(15%)
- 126 g Warm Milk(63%) (See Notes 1)
- 20 g Unsalted Butter(10%)
- 36 g Dark Chocolate Chips approx 6g for each bread
- 36 g Crystallised Ginger approx 6g for each bread – cut to small cubes
- 36 g Cut Mixed Peel (orange and lemon) approx 6g for each bread
- Ready a bowl, add strong bread flour, fast yeast, salt, cocoa powder, sugar then use your hand or bread cutter to mix it well, this is the dry ingredients. Ready another bowl, add the warm milk, beaten egg and mix it well then add into the dry ingredients and mix it well until the bottom of the bowl doesn't leave any dry flour.
- Once the dough has gathered together, turn it out onto the work surface and start to knead it for 10 to 15 minutes or until the gluten has formed. You can cut a small piece of dough and spread it very thin if you can see your finger though the dough, it means it is ready to add the butter, if not knead it longer. Please note the dough will not be smooth now. (Please see How to knead wet dough)
- Spread the dough and add the butter in, cover it with the dough then start to knead it again. It will become sticky and spread on the work surface. Use the bread cutter to gather the dough and continue to knead it for around 10 to 15 minutes or until it becomes smooth.
- Or once it is gathered together, you also can slap it on the work surface, stretch the dough out and then fold it, then turn 90° and repeat same process until the surface becomes smooth.
- Once the dough becomes smooth, cut a small piece of the dough and spread it very thin, if you can see your finger though the dough, and it does not break easily, this means the gluten is ready. Next roll it into a ball and put it into a bowl and cover with wrap or wet towel to prevent to dough from drying out. Put it in a warm place to do the first rest for 30 to 90 minutes or until it doubles in size.
- Finger test to check if the dough has rested enough(See Notes 2). If the dough has rested enough, turn it out onto the work surface(if the dough is sticky, dust the flour on the surface). Use your fingers gentle push the air out and divide into 6 equal pieces. Next shape each piece into a small ball, use the outside edge of your hand to roll the dough in the other hand. This should stretch the top and give it a smooth look. Then at the bottom you want to pinch the dough together to seal the ball.
- Then leave them on the work surface and allow to rest for 15 minutes, cover with wrap or wet towel.
- Roll the dough into rectangles around 10cm*18cm, add the dark chocolate, the crystallised ginger and cut mixed peel, the roll it and seal it. Use both hands to roll in to a sausage with pointy ends.
- Take the sausage shaped dough and place it top side down. The seal should be facing up. Next using either your hands or a rolling pin, flatten out the middle until it's about 5cm wide. Fold the dough in half, take the top point and meet the bottom point. Leaving about 1cm from the point, cut the dough up the middle. Then turn both sides, so the bottom turns in and the top turns out. This will create the heart shape.
- Cover the hearts with wrap or a wet towel and let them rest for 30 to 60 minutes or 1.5 or 2x as big.Preheat the oven to 200C, approximately 15 minutes before you are ready to bake.
- Once dough has proved put it into the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 180C and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. ( Depending on your oven you may need adjust the time or temperature). Once it has baked let it cool down completely, then enjoy!