Saturday, February 23, 2013

Koko Bread

I didn't mean for you all to be staring at Goddess's tuiga for a month (gorgeous as they are), but I broke my arm, so I haven't been able to cook much. Or at all, really. 

Anyway, my good arm is still able to type and when the one-handed typing gets too much, picture me with a pen in my mouth, tears streaming down my cheeks, painfully tapping out each individual letter on my keyboard. 

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. 'Tell it to Oprah - Where's our recipe?'

Okay, fine, fine, here it is. This is something I made a while back when I was feeling experimental. It's  a rich egg bread ribboned with koko samoa. You can substitute cocoa if you like.

Ain't it purty?

You'll have to forgive the unimaginative name. I did consider some others - Tree Bark Bread, Ebony and Ivory, Striation Celebration. But I think when I broke my arm, I must've fractured my creativity too because those names are just plain sad. If you can think of a better name for our bread, let me know. 

Koko Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup milk
2¼ teaspoons active dried yeast
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup liquid coconut oil or softened butter
2 egg yolks
2½ -3½ cups bread flour

1 egg white
1 teaspoon milk

Heat the milk until scalding and pour into a large bowl and leave to cool. When the milk has cooled to warm, add the yeast, sugar, salt, coconut oil, egg yolks and 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Gradually add the rest of the flour, adding as much as you need to make a dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl (you may not need all of it). Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes until it is soft and pliable. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Leave to double (1-1 ½ hours).

In the meantime, make the koko paste.

Koko Paste:
2½ tablespoons flour
¼ cup sugar
1 egg white
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup finely ground Koko Samoa or unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons coconut oil or butter

Mix the flour, sugar and egg white in a cup or small bowl and set aside.
Warm the milk (don’t boil) and dissolve the koko or cocoa powder in it. If using koko, strain into a small pot and discard the nibs. Add the egg white mixture stirring until combined. Heat over low heat until it thickens into a paste. Add the coconut oil or butter and mix well. Remove the paste to a piece of baking paper and leave it to cool slightly. Covering it with another piece of baking paper, roll the paste out into a rectangle about 6 x 8 inches(15 x 20 cm)  and place in the refrigerator until needed.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle a little bigger than the koko paste. Place the refrigerated paste in the centre and seal it in with the bread dough, taking care to press out any bubbles. Roll the dough up jellyroll style, and split the log lengthways, almost in two, but not quite. Twist the two pieces together so that the cut edges are facing outwards, tucking the ends under the loaf. Place into a well-greased loaf tin and leave to double in size. Brush with glaze.

Bake at 160°C (325°F) for 45-55 minutes.

Enjoy this warm from the oven, and serve with a hot cup of anything but koko samoa.