Fresh bread, in my opinion, is one of the best, most comforting and satisfying smells there are. Making bread is also an experience I enjoy. The smell, seeing how it has risen and is all soft and fluffy, and the workout you get kneading it! And just imagine how much better fresh bread is when it has butter and chocolate in it? These are best eaten still warm, with plenty of butter.
7 g sachet dried yeast (2 tsp)
8 oz strong white bread flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp tepid water
2 oz butter, melted and cooled (use real butter, not margarine or butter substitutes)
Pack of dark chocolate chips
Lightly oil a 12 hole muffin tin. Mix flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, eggs and melted butter. Stir to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is elastic and smooth. Put in back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size. Once risen, knead again for about 5 minutes. Cut the dough into 12 relatively equal pieces. When kneading fruit into dough I find it spits it out as fast as I can incorporate it, so as you don’t want to be messing about with chocolate for too long, here’s my little trick. Flatten out a piece of dough slightly, and scatter some chocolate chips on the table. Press the dough onto the chips, picking up approximately 10. Fold the edges down and under, trapping the chocolate inside. Place in the tin, fold side down so you have a nice smooth top. Do this with the rest of the pieces, and then cover with oiled cling film again and leave to rise until they are light and puffy and reach the top of the tin. If you want you can brush with beaten egg, then bake them at 230ºC for 10 minutes, until golden. Enjoy!
(These don’t keep too well, so make sure you eat them in a couple of days! To warm them up, wrap them in foil and pop them in a 200ºC oven for 5 – 10 minutes.)