Specialising in plant-based and free-from recipe development, chef and food writer Bettina Campolucci Bordi has shared a vegan chocolate pull-apart bread recipe.
A delicious bread recipe for those abstaining from animal products, the bread is an impressive dish to serve at Easter, or any time of year when the occasion may call for a decadent, plant-based loaf of chocolate pull-apart bread. To make the bread base, vegan butter and plant-based milk are gently heated and cooled before adding fresh yeast, sugar, and salt. A dough is then made by adding flour and kneading, which is left to prove while hazelnuts are toasted for the filling and combined with more vegan butter, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. To assemble the loaf, the dough is cut into small pieces rolled into balls and dipped in a mixture of butter and sugar, stacked into a loaf tin with chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Once baked, the chocolate pull-apart bread is then finally drizzled with an icing made from sugar, maple syrup, vegan butter, and vanilla.
On the vegan chocolate pull-apart bread recipe, Bettina Campolucci Bordi said: “An Easter bread with a difference. It contains chocolate, tick, and is sticky and sweet, double tick. Great to make as a family or with kids, and it also makes a lovely gift.”
- 180 ml plant milk
- 80 g vegan butter
- 25 g fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons fast-action dry yeast
- 4 tsp soft brown sugar
- 440 g plain organic flour
- 1 pinch salt
For the filling
- 60 g hazelnuts
- 50 g vegan butter
- 90 g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 100 g chocolate chips or chopped chocolate optional
For the icing
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vegan butter melted
- 1⁄2 vanilla pod split and the seeds scraped out, or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- Gently heat the milk and butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down until the mixture is warm but not piping hot. A good way to test this is to dip your finger in the mixture – it should be warm but not burning. This ensures that the fresh yeast (if using) is activated and that will dissolve.
- Once the mixture reaches a warm temperature, add the yeast and mix well. Then stir in the sugar and pinch of salt until fully dissolved.
- Transfer this mixture to a bowl and add the flour. Mix everything together well and then use the heel of your hand to knead until a nice dough ball is formed.
- Once the dough has been worked and is slightly springy, leave in the bowl, cover with a dish towel and keep somewhere warm to rise for at least 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
- While the bread is rising, make the filling by heating the hazelnuts in a saucepan until they start to toast. Once toasted, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to the same pan and heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Stir in the spices and remove from the heat.
- Line a large loaf pan with baking parchment and arrange a handful of hazelnuts over the bottom along with a spoonful or two of the butter-sugar mixture.
- Now arrange the dough. Cut the dough in half and then in half again until you have 16 bigger pieces or 32 smaller ones. Roll the pieces into balls and dip them in the remaining butter-sugar mixture.
- Start building the balls up in the loaf pan, adding some chocolate chips and the rest of the hazelnuts between the layers of balls. Don’t squish the balls or worry about any gaps as those will be filled when the dough rises again. Cover with a dish towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4).
- Bake the bread for 30–45 minutes until golden brown. Once baked, allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack and turn out once cooled.
- Mix the ingredients for the icing together in a bowl and drizzle over the bread once it has cooled down completely.