Nothing beats fresh bread. Well, maybe some things do. But not much.
Like, I’ve heard that winning the lottery is pretty awesome. But if that happens to you, you’re not supposed to tell anyone or they’ll be trying to bum your winnings. I guess you’re supposed to pretend that the new mansion (complete with pool, personal trainer and stylist) came from a modest amount that a rich uncle left you upon his passing.
Fresh bread is nothing to keep secret. Oh, no. You have to share it liberally, announcing to one and all that you have a fresh loaf to be eaten. Especially a loaf like this one. It’s got a delicious almond chocolate filling, so it bridges the gap between actual food and dessert. I had it for breakfast!
My son’s birthday was this past weekend, following hard on the heels of Purim, a celebratory Jewish holiday. I’ll show you my Cruella DeVil outfit in a bit. Suffice it to say, we had a busy four days of straight partying. My kids are so sugared up that they can’t see straight.
Celebrations are nice, but for the people who throw them, they’re nothing short of one thing after another. Like, I forgot the birthday candles. Yep, totally spaced them. Luckily, the boy’s cake was blinged out enough without one.
And my Cruella costume was lacking actual fur. For one thing, I couldn’t bring myself to wear one. For another, it was 75 degrees out.
Okay, back to bread. Say hello to your bread machine, because it does all the work for you! Have I mentioned how in love with my bread machine I am? Have I? Have I?
Yeah, yeah, I know. But this miraculous contraption literally lets me set it and forget it, which not a whole lot of life allows anybody to do. Imagine if we could just set and forget everything, from dinner to housework to actual work. Then we wouldn’t need to win the lottery in order to have personal assistants and whatnot.
This bread is made doubly simple by the filling. It’s simply the almond pastry spread they sell in the bakery aisle combined with mini chocolate chips. See? No effort, folks! I’m down with that!
And who can resist the sprinkling of almonds on top? Not me!
It’s been a crazy week, folks, and now I’m heading for some much-needed downtime over spring break. Join me in relaxing over a slice or two of bread!
Chocolate Almond Swirl Bread
1 cup warm water (you can use almond milk for more richness)
2 eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted (substitute butter if desired)
4 and 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 can almond pastry filling (I used Solo)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
- Place all the dough ingredients into the bread machine in the order indicated by the manufacturer. Typically, wet ingredients go in the pan first, followed by the dry. Select the dough cycle and press start.
- When the cycle is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle measuring roughly 16 by 21 inches. Spread the almond pastry filling evenly on top and then sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over the surface.
- Working with the short end first (you want the bread to be fatter than longer), roll up the dough tightly to form an oblong shape, similar to a cake roll.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle the almonds on top.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Cut into slices.