Is it chocolate cake? Is it beer bread? Nope, it’s Double Chocolate Beer Bread, the best of both in one delicious, healthy, ruggedly good-looking package. It has whole wheat flour, it’s dairy free, and gets its super rich, chocolatey flavor from a plentiful addition of cocoa powder, boosted by a bottle of Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. I want to have people over just so I can bake this bread for them, it’s so good. And it makes one of the most delicious peanut butter sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.
I’m just kidding. You could totally make this bread in a loaf pan, and it would taste and look wonderful. BUT, if you happen to have some fancy tins lying around and want to use them, or need an awesome excuse to buy some, this bread is the perfect opportunity. It cooked all the way through but was moist inside, had a thin crust, and looked bomb. I’m talking rustic yet whimsical, hearth-baked in the black forests of Germany bomb. Now I want to bake all my bread in decorative tins. As you can see, I was so taken with this particular tin that I took a picture of the inside of it.
You can get these tins in a boggling variety of fantastic shapes at any kitchen supply store. However, if you happen to be a thrifter, you can often find an interesting selection of second-hand tins for next to nothing. That’s what I’m talking about. Clean them up, run them through the dishwasher if you insist, and viola – good as new.
While this is unabashedly beer bread, it has a surprising amount of excellent chocolate cake quality to it. I thought the beer would slightly overpower the chocolate, but it actually enhanced it. I think it’s important to use a chocolate beer to get the perfect taste, though. Chocolate beer is very easy to find and not too expensive, and I know this because I live in the country and was able to get some right down the road. If you’re not sure which to choose, I vouch for Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. It gave me absolutely stellar results.
I’m getting sidetracked. I want to point out that this bread has all the deep, chocolatey richness and tender crumbliness of a high quality chocolate cake, but with a fraction of the sugar, no oil or fat, no dairy at all, and it uses mostly whole wheat flour. Much healthier than your average slab of chocolate cake, and just as satisfying, in a slightly heartier way.
Double Chocolate Beer Bread
2 cups wheat flour
a generous 2/3 cup all-purpose white flour
a heaping 1/3 cup regular unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
12 ounces of chocolate beer, at room temperature
Lightly grease or use cooking spray to coat either a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan or a fancy tin with at least five cup capacity.
In a large bowl, use a whisk to thoroughly combine all the dry ingredients. Pour in the beer, and stir the batter until everything is just combined. Try not to overmix, or your bread could toughen up. Transfer the batter to the pan, cover it with a bit of waxed paper or lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise for about half an hour. If you have a dark, warm-ish place for it to sit, so much the better. While the bread rests, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the covering and pop the bread in the oven for 55 minutes. As it bakes, it will rise; if you used a five cup capacity tin like I did, expect the bread to have risen well beyond the edges. If you want the bottom of the bread to be absolutely flat, it’s easy enough to cut away the excess, but I think leaving it alone gives the bread a charmingly homemade look.