These Chocolate Walnut Bread are soft braided rolls filled with sweet cocoa powder and crunchy walnuts. They are amazingly soft and the crunch from the walnut provides a beautiful texture contrast.
One of the wonderful things that are hard to beat is having fresh bread out of the oven. The smell of the baking that lingers around is just heavenly and I have yet to meet a person who dislikes that aroma.
Now, if it is a bread filled with chocolate, the smell is just unbelievable. When I made these chocolate walnut bread the other day, the house was filled with the wonderful smell of chocolate and bread together. It was like a pot of hot chocolate was simmering on the stove.
It was like being inside a cozy bake shop on a cold winter day. It was like heaven.
The past days, we were having gloomy and rainy weather in our city. It was ironic that it was cold again right after the day summer officially started. Because of that, I got inspired to bake something cozy and something comforting like these chocolate walnut bread.
I have never really tried putting walnuts in any of my baking, but after this, I think I am gonna have to buy a bag of walnuts to incorporate it into my ingredients more. Maybe make something as scrumptious as this or this. Can’t go wrong with the lovely crunch of walnuts.
Nuts provide a great texture to baked goods. They contrast soft and fluffy with their mild crunch. That way, every bite is interesting.
The assembly looks complicated and artistic but actually, the key here is patience more than creativity. The dough, after the first rise, needs to be divided into 12 (almost) equal portions. You have to do the assembly to each of those portions and that can be the challenging part especially if you just want to devour these chocolate walnut bread.
But hey, you are here because I assume you love making bread from scratch, and I think you will agree with me that once everything is done, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your creations lined up beautifully in the baking tray.
To start, you have to roll each portion into a small rectangle that is slightly thicker than 1/4 inch. Spread softened butter on the surface leaving about half an inch borders. Sprinkle walnut-cocoa mixture over the butter and roll the long side of the rectangle into a tight log. Refrigerate the logs for about ten minutes.
Now using a sharp knife, slice the logs vertically starting from one end to the other but leaving about 1/4 inch from the top uncut. Rotate the split logs so that the cut sides are facing up. Braid the logs carefully and twist it into a coil. Tuck the ends under and place them on a large baking tray that is lined with parchment paper.
Let the rolls rise for an hour. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are nicely golden. These are best served while they are warm. They are amazing! You dig into soft and fluffy bread and occasionally bite into lovely crunchy bits of walnuts that are highlighted by the cocoa flavor. Just amazing!
For leftovers, store them in a tightly covered container at room temperature and warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before consuming.
Looking for more bread recipes? Try these:
Chocolate Walnut Bread
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 beaten egg for brushing the dough
Chocolate Walnut Filling
- 1 stick softened butter
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 8 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Combine milk and cream in a large microwaveable bowl and heat in the microwave just until warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream and milk mixture, egg, sugar, flour, yeast and salt. Mix everything with a rubber spatule just until flour is moistened.
- Attach the dough hook and turn speed to medium. Knead the dough until it is smooth and gathering in the center. This should take somewhere between 6-10 minutes. To test, take a small amount of dough and stretch it with your fingers. The dough should be able to stretch thinly forming a translucent film as you pull, and then breaks out into circular holes.
- Gather the dough into a ball, sprinkle a little bit of flour into a bowl and place the ball of dough inside it. Cover the bowl with kitchen towel and set it on a warm place for one hour to one hour and a half, until size of the dough is doubled. Meanwhile,line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Dust your work area with flour and roll each portion into a small rectangle that is slightly thicker than 1/4 inch. Spread softened butter on top, then sprinkle with the walnut-cocoa mixture leaving about half an inch border on sides. Roll the log tightly and pinch the seams and the ends to seal. Refrigerate the logs for about 10 minutes.
- Work with one log at a time while leaving the others inside the fridge. Position the log with the seams down. Using a knife, start to slice each log vertically leaving about 1/4 inch on one end uncut. Rotate the two split logs so that the cut sides are facing up. Gently twist the two cut logs together in a spiral manner, as if braiding. Form a coil and tuck the end under it. Place on the baking tray. Repeat with other logs. Let them rise for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush the surface of the rolls with the egg wash. Bake in a 350 F oven for 20-25 minutes or until rolls are golden on top.
Make the Chocolate Walnut Filling
- Combine sugar, cocoa, salt and walnuts in a bowl. Stir everything until incorporated and the nuts are coated.