Bread week

This week was bread week on Great British Bake Off, this is normally one of my favourite weeks on GBBO but I didn’t think the challenges were that great this time. The Signature Bake was baking rye rolls, ciabatta was the Technical Challenge and the Showstopper was baking a filled centrepiece loaf. No eight stranded plait.

I’ve known what I wanted to bake for bread week for a while, Chocolate Krantz Cake from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s book Jerusalem. Sweet bread dough, chocolate and pecans – you can’t really go wrong. Now I will say this isn’t a bake that would fit into the 4 hour time limit the contestants had because it requires the dough to rise overnight, but I couldn’t resist!

chocolate krantz cake-1

The original recipe is for two braided loaves but to make it more of a showstopper centrepiece I shaped it into a braided ring. One thing I would suggest is chilling the dough a bit before you shape the loaf. It’s got quite a lot of butter in and in a slightly warm kitchen it went a bit squishy (yep, that’s a technical term). Popping it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before you shape it will make it a lot easier to work with.

chocolate krantz cake-2

Chocolate Krantz Cake

Dough ingredients

530g plain flour

100g caster sugar

2 sachets (14g) dried yeast

3 free-range eggs

120ml water

150g butter, softened

oil for greasing

Filling ingredients

50g icing sugar

30g cocoa powder

130g dark chocolate

120g butter

100g pecans, roughly chopped

2 tbsp caster sugar

Syrup ingredients

130g caster sugar

80ml water

chocolate krantz cake-3

Firstly the dough, this needs to be done the day before. A stand mixer with a dough hook makes this much easier.

  1. Combine the flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and eggs and mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Next add the butter bit by bit.
  4. Knead or mix the dough with the dough hook for five to ten minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Grease a bowl with the oil and transfer the dough to this bowl. Leave to rise overnight.

The next day start by preparing the filling.

  1. Melt together the chocolate and butter in a bowl above a pan of simmering water.
  2. Add the icing sugar and the cocoa and beat until smooth.

Time to shape your loaf, remember my tip about chilling the dough for 20 minutes or so before you start. If you want to make two loaves split the dough and filling in half and follow the instructions below up until shaping into a ring and put into two loaf tins.

  1. Roll the dough out into a rectangle until it is about 1-1.5cm thick.
  2. Spread with the chocolate filling leaving a 2cm border around the edge.
  3. Sprinkle on the chopped pecans and the caster sugar.
  4. Roll up the dough along the long edge using a small amount of water to seal the end.
  5. Next trim the ends off and cut your rolled dough down the middle of the roll.
  6. Twist the two halves together with the cut side on top.
  7. Shape into a ring and transfer to a round loose bottomed cake tin.
  8. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again for an hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 4 and bake for about 40 minutes.

While the cake is in the oven make the syrup.

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat.
  2. When the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is just boiling take off the heat and leave to cool.
  3. When you take the cake out of the oven use a pastry brush to cover it with the syrup, it will need a few coats.
  4. Take out of the tin and allow to cool.

chocolate krantz cake-4


Tonight it’s desserts, I’m looking forward to seeing the inevitable Baked Alaska dramas!