Readers of the Dixie Hemingway mystery series are familiar with Cora’s chocolate bread, an item I borrowed from a real chocolate bread a friend used to make in an old bread making machine. The friend is gone now, and she never divulged the secret of her bread. The King Arthur Flour professional bakers created a recipe they think would recreate what I remember, which I’ve already posted. Several readers have come up with their own versions, and they all sound delicious. The real bread and the fictional Cora’s bread were both made in a bread-making machine, but one reader has created a regular loaf to be cooked in the oven. If you’re a fan of Cora’s chocolate bread, or would just like to give it a try, here are two new recipes.
Sally Hayes, a reader who loves to bake, created this version for a bread machine:
1-1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour (Sally used regular flour)
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast
1/2 cup regular chocolate chips, plus about 3/4 c. frozen chocolate chips
In the order recommended by the manufacturer, put all ingredients except the chocolate chips into the bread machine. Set the machine for white or raisin bread. (Sally used the sweet bread and light crust settings on her machine.) At the “beep,” which happens about 20-30 min. into the process, add the chocolate chips.
Sally says the entire time from start to finish took about 3 hours. She also says that, like Cora’s, the bread likes to be torn in chunks, although hers sliced nicely too.
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Beverly, who is sort of a neighbor of Dixie’s because she lives on Anna Maria Island, created this recipe to be baked in a regular oven. She says her husband picks up the ingredients and brings them to her whenever he feels the need of a chocolate bread fix.
Beverly’s Chocolate Bread (Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan)
2-1/2 cups of self-rising flour (OR 2-1/2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour + 3 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, Lite
1/2 cup water (you can use milk instead)
1 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Sift flour and set aside.
In mixing bowl, beat sugar, butter and eggs until smooth. Add chocolate syrup and water, mixing well. Add flour and beat just until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 1 hour. At about 57 minutes, check it to see if it’s done. (Stick a table knife in the center. If it comes out mostly clean, take it out of the oven.)