Chestnut Chocolate Bread Wreath

chocolate chestnut bread wreath

Sweet breads are my weakness, when I bake a cake I can eat a slice and not go back for seconds, but with sweet, filled breads I just can’t stop myself from going back and slicing off another piece, and another, until I’ve eaten the whole lot…. this chocolate chestnut bread wreath is no exception….I ate nearly half the loaf in a day…Maybe it’s because the idea of bread is wholesome, so even though it’s got butter, sugar and chocolate in it, it doesn’t feel that indulgent…

braided chocolate chestnut bread wreath

Chestnuts are one of those things that I associate as an iconic part of Autumn and Christmas but rarely ever use, although I really should. They have a sweet, mild nutty flavour and are incredibly versatile, work well in both sweet and savoury dishes and pair really well with chocolate. I bought some pre-cooked, vacuum packed ones on a whim (they were on offer) but had no plan as to what to do with them. I deliberated for a while, torn between biscuits, cake and bread (I don’t fantasize about savoury dishes the same way as I do baked goods…) but finally settled on the bread; so I made a soft, enriched dough and filled it with sweet chestnut puree mixed with melted chocolate, it tastes amazing! Like a chestnut nutella. So annoyingly moreish…and perfect for brunch, or Christmas morning breakfast.

twisted chocolate chestnut bread wreath

I have given the recipe below to make your own sweetened chestnut puree, it is fairly simple but will not give as smooth a result as buying tinned puree, if you are able to buy it tinned then by all means use that instead (sweetened not unsweetened), I would have if my local supermarket sold it! I was able to get pre-cooked, vacuum packed chestnuts so I used those rather than roasting my own to make things a little simpler and quicker.

braided chocolate chestnut bread wreath

If you want to forgo the chestnuts altogether, this bread would taste out of this world if made with nutella, or fill with butter, sugar and cinnamon to make a Kringle, the dough is very versatile and will hold up well to most fillings as long as they aren’t too wet.

braided chocolate chestnut bread wreath

Chestnut Chocolate Bread Wreath

(Please note: although I have provided a conversion from grams to US cup measurements I cannot guarantee the accuracy as I do not bake using cups, I thoroughly recommend investing in a digital metric scale, it is far more accurate.)

Ingredients:

Bread Dough:

  • 75g (scant 1/3 cup) unsalted butter
  • 225ml (scant cup) full-fat milk
  • 450g (3 3/4 cups) strong white bread flour
  • 10g (3 tsp) fast action (instant) yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 egg

Filling:

  • 200g (7 oz) roasted, peeled chestnuts (I use the pre-cooked, vacuum packed ones)
  • 200ml (3/4 cup plus 1tbsp) water
  • 150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar (superfine)
  • 1tsp vanilla paste/extract
  • OR use about 400g (14oz) of tinned sweetened chestnut puree
  • 100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate
  • warm milk

Warm the butter and milk gently in a small saucepan until the butter has just melted then set aside until it has cooled to a lukewarm temperature. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt and sugar to the other. Pour in the milk and add the egg, mix everything together into a shaggy dough then turn out onto an un-floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough is very soft and sticky at first but after a few minutes of kneading (and a little bit of prising off the worktop with a dough scraper) it should come together into a smooth, elastic ball of dough, try to avoid the temptation to add more flour.

Of course you can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook if you have one, mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or so until doubled in size. On cold days I like to heat up the oven on a low temperature then switch it off, open the door for a few seconds to let a little of the heat dissipate then place the bowl of dough inside and close the door. You can also place the dough in the fridge to rise overnight and continue the bake the following morning.

While the dough is rising make the chestnut puree (If you are able to get hold of tinned sweetened chestnut puree then use about 400g of that instead and skip this step). Place the chestnuts, water and sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until the chestnuts are soft and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup, take off the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes then tip into a food processor with the vanilla paste and blend to a smooth puree, you probably wont be able to get it completely smooth so if you do want a smooth paste then you’ll have to press it through a sieve; I didn’t as I thought that a bit of texture would be nice and I liked it, but my fiance said that he would have preferred it smooth so it’s just a matter of personal taste!

Once the dough has risen, melt the chocolate, either in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water (don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), or in 10 second bursts in the microwave. Stir the melted chocolate into the chestnut puree then add warm milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it is a spreadable consistency.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 30x40cm (12″x16″), spread the chocolate chestnut paste evenly all over the surface.

chestnut puree

Roll up tightly from the long side into a log.

009

Use a sharp knife to slice the log in half lengthways.

012

Twist the two strands together keeping the cut side up.

015

Transfer the twist to a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and form into a ring.

chocolate chestnut bread wreath

Loosely cover (I place mine inside a clean plastic bag) and leave to rise for 30-45 minutes until puffy. Heat the oven to 180Β°C/350ΒΊF/gas mark 4. Once the dough has risen, bake for 45-50 minutes until deep golden, risen, and sounds hollow when knocked, cover with tin foil after 20 minutes or so to prevent the top from burning. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

I am sharing this with Totally Talented Tuesdays , Create, Link, Inspire , Showcase Your Talent Thursdays, and Fiesta Friday

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40 Comments on Chestnut Chocolate Bread Wreath

  1. heycakes
    November 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm (2 years ago)

    Mmm looks delicious!! A piece or two of this would be perfect right now πŸ™‚

    Reply
  2. Ginger
    November 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm (2 years ago)

    This looks amazing, like a work of art! I bet it tastes just as divine …

    Reply
    • Domestic Gothess
      November 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Considering the rate at which it is disappearing between just two of us…yep it is REALLY good!

      Reply
  3. Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy
    November 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm (2 years ago)

    WOW WOW and more WOWs and AWEs this looks not only worthy of a magazine style photos but so yummy! I must book mark now and try it. Perfect for the festive season too! I am drooling just reading the recipe. Love the food styling too! #tastytuesdays

    Reply
  4. vegashungrygirl
    November 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm (2 years ago)

    this looks amazing! such a great idea for Christmas brunch πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  5. Alison
    November 26, 2014 at 9:49 am (2 years ago)

    This looks amazing. A great use of chestnuts. I bet it tasted gorgeous

    Reply
    • Domestic Gothess
      November 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm (2 years ago)

      I ate most of the loaf myself…in two days…yes it tastes good!

      Reply
  6. Julie is HostessAtHeart
    November 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh heavens I have to make this! I would maybe hide it and not share it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  7. Jhuls
    November 28, 2014 at 3:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh, Hanna! You make mean bread!!! I am so jealous. πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Domestic Gothess
      November 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you! Bread is my favourite thing to bake πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. HonestMum (@HonestMummy)
    November 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm (2 years ago)

    How stunningly accomplished is this?! Wow! Thanks so much for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    Reply
  9. annareid1
    November 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm (2 years ago)

    This looks SO tasty! And it is beautiful!

    Reply
  10. carolinescookingblog
    November 28, 2014 at 9:09 pm (2 years ago)

    Sound delicious, and not as complicated as the impressive-looking result. Might have to give it a try as I love chestnut as well.

    Reply
  11. chefjulianna
    November 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey Hanna! You are inspiring me to bake! This bread is to die for! πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Domestic Gothess
      November 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Julianna πŸ™‚ I am glad to inspire!

      Reply
  12. Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake
    November 28, 2014 at 10:32 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m the same with sweet breads, they’re my favourite! And this is no exception, it looks delicious! And so pretty!

    Reply
  13. Tracy
    November 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Absolutely beautiful!!!

    Reply
  14. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs
    November 29, 2014 at 4:58 am (2 years ago)

    Happy Fiesta Friday, Hannah!! What a lovely recipe! I’m loving the chestnut and chocolate combination… forego the chestnuts?? No way!! The’ve been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl!!

    This beautiful bread sounds so delicious…and your photos are so clear perfect… You make this look so easy to do, but I’d be struggling with the braiding for sure! You should have seen me trying to braid a pie crust yesterday morning…it was a pathetic attempt.. But this… it’s perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us…I’m so happy you did, and I know that everyone else will be too. LOVE. <3

    Reply
    • Domestic Gothess
      November 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm (2 years ago)

      Awww thanks Prudy πŸ™‚ You’re so sweet!

      Reply
  15. Arl's World
    November 30, 2014 at 12:57 am (2 years ago)

    This looks and sounds like the most wonderfully delicious bread. Yummy!!

    Reply
  16. skd
    November 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm (2 years ago)

    It looks deliciously gorgeous

    Reply
  17. lapetitepaniere
    December 1, 2014 at 10:47 am (2 years ago)

    It looks beautiful and so tasty πŸ™‚

    Reply
  18. Misplaced Brit (@Misplaced_Brit)
    December 2, 2014 at 11:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow wow wow! I’ve never seen a knot anything like it! This looks and sounds delicious. The final results with all that twisting are really impressive. Love it!

    Reply
  19. lucyparissi
    December 3, 2014 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

    I love your bakes Hannah! Chestnuts are my favourite ingredient in winter – I sneak them into everything from soup to pudding. Your wreath is amazing – I must make this! Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    Reply
    • Domestic Gothess
      December 3, 2014 at 9:45 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Lucy πŸ™‚ I don’t use chestnuts nearly as much as I should, I love them, just don’t often think to use them…

      Reply
  20. Jen @ Blue Kitchen Bakes
    December 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Beautiful loaf, I’m a big fan of chestnuts in baking though I haven’t made anything with them for a while. You’ve made me hungry now!
    #Bakeoftheweek

    Reply
  21. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins
    December 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm (2 years ago)

    Oooh this looks fantastic, I love the addition of chestnuts x #CookBlogShare

    Reply
  22. Helen at Casa Costello
    December 18, 2014 at 11:47 am (2 years ago)

    This looks so pretty – what a great centrepiece for Christmas festivities! My to bake list is getting even longer thanks to you! Thanks for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek New Linky open later x

    Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Chestnut Chocolate Bread Wreath

  1. #CookBlogShare roundup 1-8 December | Super Golden Bakes says:

    […] Date filled saffron crescents would be perfect for December 13 (my name day, incidentally). 2. This Chestnut Chocolate Wreath from Hannah of Domestic Gothess would be perfect for Christmas breakfast, don’t you […]

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