Chocolate banana bread, or more lovingly called roti coklat pisang in Indonesian, is definitely one of my favorite bread ever. Each chocolatey bread dough is filled with half a saba banana and chopped dark chocolate, this transforms in the oven into a lovely batch of chocolate bread heaven, filled with creamy cooked banana and melted dark chocolate sauce. If you love the combination of chocolate and banana (who doesn’t), I guarantee you are going to fall in love with this bread.
It is actually unusual to find chocolate banana bread using chocolate dough. Most bakeries sell these kind of breads in the typical milk dough, which I admit is really good, but for true chocolate banana bread lovers, encasing said banana and chopped chocolate in a chocolate dough is definitely the way to go to. Let’s start by making the dough. You will need all purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, butter, milk, and active dry yeast. Heat milk to 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) and stir with active dry yeast and sugar and let it rest until foamy. Meanwhile, sieve together all purpose purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Cut butter into smaller cubes so it will be easier to incorporate later in the kneading process. Make a well in the flour mixture, pour yeast solution, and butter. Knead into a non-sticking, smooth, and elastic dough. This should take about 20 minutes with hands, or about 15 minutes with electric mixer. Place dough in a mixing bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel or saran wrap, and let it proof until the volume doubles, about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
Meanwhile, cut each saba banana into two halves lengthwise, and chop dark chocolates into smaller chunks. Once the dough has finished proofing, punch to release air bubbles, and knead again for a couple of minute. Divide into 8 portions. Roll each dough into an oval with the shorter side slightly longer than the length of the banana. Place a piece of banana onto the dough at slightly off center towards the top side and top the banana with some dark chocolate chunks. Fold the top part of the dough over the banana and chocolate to fully encase the banana and chocolate, pinch the dough slightly. Make 6-7 slits to the bottom part of the dough, and fold the slits to the top to securely encase the banana and chocolate chunks within the dough. Place on a prepared baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with a wet kitchen towel/saran wrap, and let the dough rise again the second time for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
In winter, I speed up the proofing time by placing the dough in my oven along with a small pot of boiling water and close the oven, with the dough in upper rack, and the pot of boiling water in lower rack. This way, I make my very own proof box just like the professionals in their bakeries. If you do it like this, your proofing time should be as fast as stated in recipes. I think this is a very handy trick to learn.
The last thing to do is to bake the bread in preheated oven of 180 Celsius (360 Fahrenheit). Remember to apply a generous coating of egg wash to the top of bread just before baking. This gives a very nice shimmer effect to baked bread. Once the bread is done, the banana should become creamier, and the chocolate chunks should melt into chocolate sauce. Eating this bread straight out of the oven is one of the best way to enjoy breakfast, or tea time.
- 200 ml milk (38 Celsius or 100 Fahrenheit)
- 5 gram active dry yeast
- 5 gram sugar
- 300 gram all purpose flour
- 30 gram cocoa powder
- 60 gram sugar
- 5 gram salt
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 saba bananas, cut each into 2 halves lengthwise
- 50 gram dark chocolate bar, cut into small chucks
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Mix together warm milk with active dry yeast and 5 gram sugar. Rest until foamy, about 20 minutes.
- Sieve together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well, pour yeast solution and unsalted butter. Knead into a non-sticking, smooth, and elastic dough. 20 minutes by hand, 15 minutes with electric mixer.
- Place dough in a mixing bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel/saran wrap. Proof until volume doubles, about 1 hour.
- Punch proofed dough to release air bubbles, knead for a couple minutes. Divide into 8 equal portions.
- Roll a portion of dough into an oval, with the shorter side slightly longer than the length of banana.
- Place a piece of banana on the dough, slightly off center nearer the top, and top banana with chunks of chocolate.
- Fold the top part of dough over banana and chocolate to encase, pinch lightly.
- Make 6-7 slits to the bottom part of dough. Fold these toward the top to fully encase the banana and chocolate.
- Place on a baking tray lined with a parchment paper. Cover with wet kitchen towel/saran, and proof again for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (360 Fahrenheit).
- Make an egg wash by mixing together egg and milk. Brush each bread liberally with egg wash.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.