Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Cocoa Bread
This is how to make a completely ridiculous PB&J.
While I was baking this bread, Andrew got home from work and asked what I was making. I told him, “a loaf of chocolate bread”. To which he said, “that’s called a brownie.” However, except for the cocoa and the part where I smothered a slice in peanut butter and ate it for dessert, this bread isn’t brownie-like at all. Kind of a bummer. I know. But if everything tasted like brownies, nothing would taste like brownies. Kinda deep for a Friday.
One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I like filling my life with things that are compatible with peanut butter. My little sister came home from a sleepover one time saying that her friend’s family put peanut butter on pancakes. And I was like, “geez, now that’s a great family.”
So in our little family, I attempted to feed Andrew a taco salad for dinner on Wednesday night. He eats (mostly) everything I make. Seriously, (mostly) everything. But he was so grossed out by the taco salad idea that he wouldn’t eat it. It was just like a Chipotle burrito bowl minus the rice and plus crunchy chips…sounds yum to me. He ended up eating nachos instead (pretty much the exact same thing I was eating…just minus the lettuce). He told me tonight the best dishes are scoopable. He said things like lasagnas and enchiladas and gratins and casserole type of deals. Ya know, scoopable things.
I’ve been wanting to make a polenta bottomed casserole for ages now. Or at least ever since I started going crazy about using baked polenta for a pizza crust. One time I didn’t let the polenta pizza crust bake long enough and it ended up still creamy when we ate it and I was like, “this would make an insane casserole.”
Except I might call it something else because I’m not big on the word ‘casserole’. Too many images of the 1950s pop into my head. Did they even make casseroles then? I don’t know. I wasn’t around. When I think 1950s I think, “What is this 1958? Give the little wife a blender!” Name the movie.
So last night I got to meet How Sweet It Is herself at her cookbook signing. It was way exciting for me. After reading a blog for so long, it’s so neat to hear the blogger’s voice in person. The book is really great. I was telling Andrew that when I left the signing I almost felt defeated because the cookbook is so good that I feel like it could never be topped. I mean that not in a selfish way but in a it’s-such-an-incredible-cookbook-i-want-to-give-it-to-everyone-i-know way. There are a 150 recipes all accompanied by a mini blog post. A part of me wants to meticulously binge read every single recipe and accompanying blog-writing style recipe description. And then another part of me doesn’t want to open it because I don’t ever want to finish reading it. Does that makes sense?I kinda felt that way about the last Harry Potter. Didn’t want to read it because I didn’t want it to be over. But this is better than Harry Potter, because it’s pretty pictures of food…my very favorite thing.
The book is the best cookbook I’ve seen and I can’t wait to make some meals from it next week. Prepare your instagram feed for all things #howsweeteats.
We ended the cookbook signing with a dinner out at Yard House and I got me some froyo. It was a rather eventful Thursday night for the two of us. It’s nice to change up the routine and do something different during the week.
So this bread. It’s rather dense and not light and fluffy. I seem to have a thing for dense bread. It’s just so filling and I’m cah-razy about the texture and I like how each bite feels like you’re biting into a hearty cake. That’s how I feel.
This bread can go either way: Sweet or Savory.
Sweet = topped with peanut butter for a snack.
Savory = topped with eggs & ricotta for a dinner (Andrew didn’t eat this dinner either. Can’t win ’em all.).
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- In a bowl, combine yeast and water. Let sit 10 minutes until bubbly.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa and sea salt. Add in yeast-water, olive oil and honey. Combine into a dough and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Use your hands or an electric stand mixer to knead for 8 minutes. Roll dough into a ball and place in a bowl coated in a little olive oil. Cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm place. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil and form dough into a loaf and place in the loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. During the last 10 minutes of rising time, preheat oven to 350F. Bake bread for 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20 minutes.