The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

chocolate bread wont rise

luvstobake's picture

chocolate bread wont rise

I've been trying to make chocolate bread. Today was try two, and it still didn't turn out. I got the prettiest dough but then  I set it to rise and .... it didn't. So if anyone has made a chocolate yeast  bread before , could ya please help.

PaddyL's picture

I've got a recipe for chocolate bread, using cocoa powder with chunks of bittersweet chocolate kneaded in, and it always rises.  Could we possibly see your recipe?

luvstobake's picture

Sure I'll scan it in & post it a little later. I'm being pestered to get off the computer just now,

luvstobake's picture

1 1/2 cups of warm water, divided ( or if using espresso powder, 1/2 cup warm water and 1 cup warm coffee)

2/3 cup plus 1 tsp sugar divided

2 tsp yeast

4 1/2 cups bread flour

2/3 c firmly packed brown sugar

2/3 c cocoa

1 tsp instant espresso (optional) see above

2 tsp salt

1 larg egg at room temp

12 TBSP of unsalted butter, softened

8 oz good quality dark chocolate chopped in 1/2 in chunks

Egg glaze

1 large egg

1 tsp water


In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the warm water with 1 tsp of the sugar. Spinkle  the yeast of the water and set the mix aside for 10 mins, until foamy. If the mix doesn't foam. Try again yeast may be inactive.

In the bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer, the flour, the remaining sugar, the brown sugar, the cocoa, and salt, (the espresso powder if using it). Using the paddle attatchment, mix on low for 1 min. until combined. If mixing by hand use whisk and combine thoroughly.

Add the remaining 1 cup warm water (or warm coffee if not using espresso powder) and the egg to the yeast mix. Add this to the flour mix while continuing to mix at low speed. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat the mix for 2 mins, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. At low speed beat in the softened butter at 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is incorporated into the dough. Remove the paddle and replace with the dough hook. ( You can knead by hand just make sure the butter is well softened.) Knead the douth at low speed for 2 mins. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for 2 mins longer.

Add the chocolate chunks and knead just until incorporated. Tranfer dough to buttered bowl ( dough will be quite moist) Cover dough closely with plastic wrap or damp tea towl to rise in warm, draft free place for 2 hrs. (Or until doubled in bulk.)

After the dough has risen, punch down and again with plastic wrap. Place dough in fridge for at least 8 hrs or up to 2 days.

Butter 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 in loaf pans. On a lightly floured work surface, divid dough in half. Divid each dough half into 6 equal pieces so that you have 12 equal pieces in all. With lightly floured hands shape each piece into a smoth round ball 2x2 at a diagnal in the prepared pans. Cover and let raise for 1 hr.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 .

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg & water untill blended. Brush the egg glaze over loaves w/ pastry brush.

Bake the loaves for 10 mins. Lower the oven temp to 375 & bake the break for an additional 30 mins. Cool the bread in the pans set on wire racks for 15 mins. Unmold the bread and coolthe loaves on the racks completely.


This is the recipe I've tried twice now.  I live in Utah & never had any probems with any thing rising before. Maybe had problems with the consistency but will tackle that another day :}  Could it be an altitude problem?? And please dont ask me what my altitude is, I really dont know.

trailrunner's picture

I have made a couple different kinds and all have come out perfectly. If you check on this site there is jmonkey's  bread. it is very good but if you bake it as hot as he says then it will likely burn in places. But it rises very well...needs a good starter though. I had no problem with it at all except the too high heat. Also if you try the links below the Balthazar's bread is wonderful and rises perfectly and tastes exactly like the loaves you buy in NYC. I have had them and this recipe is the same


Good luck !! c

SusanWozniak's picture

I've made chocolate yeast bread for more than 20 years, originally inspired by a recipe from the Sterns when they wrote for the NY Times.


Frankly, as with most of my direct added yeast breads, I stopped using recipes long ago.  I usually make chocolate bread with dry yeast, water, butter, yogurt, AP and whole wheat flour, cocoa and eggs.  I proof the yeast, add a little flour, then the yogurt and melted butter and cocoa.  I generally add the eggs just before kneading.


I know that this isn't much help but it has always worked.

rdphillip's picture

This bread sounds really tasty. I'm wondering about the yeast. Does your receipe call for freash yeast or active dry? 2 teaspoons seems like a small amount compared to the flour amount if you are using active dry. I would try adding a half teaspoon to teaspoon more yeast.

luvstobake's picture

I belive that your right. It maybe that my altitude is the problem as well. I'm not giving up. Even the bad batched the baked was yummy just odd shaped. So over the weekend I will try again. With extra yeast added to it. I may end up gaining a million pounds just working the kinks out of the bread. lol

Kami's picture

I just tried this very recipe and had the same results.  Interestingly, the dough seemed to no develop any gluten.  After much kneading and the addition of extra flour (thinking I didn't measure correctly), I still ended up with a dough that had no more stretch than play dough - that is absolutely none.

Some google searches brought me to another posting of the recipe that called for dutch process cocoa.  Is it possible the extra acid in the cocoa was keeping the gluten from developing?

Did anyone ever have any success with this recipe?