When the holidays come about, it’s hard to reinvent family favorites or envision new ideas. It can also seem all but impossible to incorporate chocolate into anything but dessert. Luckily I’ve come up with a way to have the goodness of chocolate showing up at the dinner table way before dessert ever makes an appearance.
Bread meets chocolate. And it’s in the shape of a roll so if your sister at the end of the table doesn’t want to hear you trying to explain to grandma why there’s chocolate in the rolls, then you can chuck one to her and not deprive anyone. It’s downright genius. You can slather cranberry sauce on them, consider the age old chocolate covered potato chips (this time with mashed potatoes and a roll), or go really crazy and make a chocolate turkey sandwich….perhaps I’ve gone too far.
If you’re thinking I’m nuts, then you obviously don’t know me or you’re not a complete chocoholic – I won’t judge of course, but you’re still reading, aren’t you?
My first memory of chocolate meets bread was with Vermont Creamery’s epic Cultured Butter with Sea Salt. Sold at Wegmans and other fine retailers in Massachusetts, it’s addicting all on its own. The little flakes of sea salt melt in your mouth and you wonder why you even put it on anything. But alas, I gave in and toasted some baguette slices with a slab of butter on top. Once they came out of the oven, I shaved some dark chocolate to become melty and then indulged. It was bliss.
Now the tables are turned and it’s chocolate that’s getting added to the bread. Changing up a recipe of Featherbed Rolls my father held onto from the Buffalo Evening News, 1940’s edition, I added chocolate to wake things up and bring my love of chocolate to the dinner table.
To full plates and eating your tarte out,
Chocolate Dinner Rolls
- 2 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 4 3/4 cups of flour
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
- 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips, good quality
- Sea salt
In a large saucepan, scald milk and remove from the heat. Discard the film that has formed on the top of the milk. Add the butter and stir, let cool until mixture is lukewarm.
In 1/4 cup of warm water, add your yeast and sugar, stirring gently. Allow the yeast to proof (if foam doesn’t appear, start this step over).
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Mix together the cooled milk mixture and proofed yeast until fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Oil another large bowl and place batter into it. Cover with saran wrap and allow to rise until doubled.
Butter two muffin pans. Scoop risen dough into muffin pans, about 1/3 full. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with dishtowel and place in a warm area. Let rise until dough has doubled.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak (Tarte Chic) is a horse enthusiast/musician turned food blogger. She maintains a day job handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.