Cinnamon & Cocoa

I’m not a chocolate freak – I’m a cinnamon chick! My favourite combination of flavours when it comes to cinnamon is cocoa. There’s this blend of bitter and spicy that makes it special. I just love it! This cinnamon and cocoa bread is a recipe I do pretty often. Although it may sound like a sweet bread, this is actually good both with jam and cheese but also nice with prosciutto and herbs (I’d suggest basil). It goes quite well with honey, curd cheese and walnuts like I had for breakfast this morning.

Cinnamon and Cocoa Bread

Makes 1 loaf

500 grs all-purpose flour (3 1/2 cups)
70 grs cocoa (1/2 cup), extra to dust
1 1/4 tsp dry yeast
3 Tbsp olive oil (low acidity), extra to brush
3 Tbsp light brown mascavado sugar
350 ml (1 1/2 cup) warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, the cocoa and the cinnamon with the yeast, make a hole in the middle. Add the warm water mixing with a fork (if using a stand mixer, pour the water slowly and steadily while mixing, with the hook attachment). Add the sugar and the salt, then add the olive oil. Work the dough for 10 minutes or until it’s elastic and doesn’t stick too much to your fingers (or to the bowl of the stand mixer). Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm, dry place for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Turn the dough onto a surface lightly dusted with cocoa powder. Work the dough for another 5 minutes. Prepare a loaf pan, brush with olive oil and dust with cocoa powder. Put the dough in the loaf pan and cover. Let rise again for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC. Use a pizza stone or some bricks in the oven. To create some steam, carefully pour some boiling water over ice cubes in a large heatproof plate. Place it in the bottom of your oven. I like to add a cinnamon stick to the water. It smells wonderful and it will give a nice touch to the bread! Brush the bread with a little olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a rack.

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