Chocolate loves vanilla, especially in this sweet bread! Sweet, vanilla-infused whole grain sweet dough with a generous helping of chopped chocolate kneaded into tender loaves.
This may come as a shock to most of you, but when our family was first diagnosed with severe nut allergies, I went through a panic phase induced by extensive reading of labels and seeing everything as a potential threat to the well being of my family. It was during that time that I decided–much to the chagrin of Bacon Slayer and Son #1–to eliminate all white flour, white sugars, and even most fats like (gasp!) butter from our diets.
So I began baking all of my own bread. I did the silly applesauce-for-fats substitution in my other baking. Bacon Slayer began to rely on Starbucks for coffee and lemon loaf because I didn’t have any granulated sugar in the house. It was right about the time that my mom stepped up and said, “Geez Louise, Kirsten! What are you going to do next? Grow your own wheat?”
You know what I discovered? Baking in an ingredient desert yields baked goods that are about as enjoyable to eat as cardboard on a good day. Dirt covered cardboard, on a bad day. Why? The answer for us is simple. Our bodies need a balance of foods to stay healthy. We need good fats like butter. Whole grain baked goods need a little all purpose flour to give them an enjoyable texture and mouth feel. Completely cutting out sugar made everyone feel cranky and deprived. I knew that if I kept at that rate, I would be baking nightmares instead of memories with my family.
It was the worst three weeks of our collective lives, I tell ya!
All was not totally lost, because it was during this brief foray into (self proclaimed) absurdity that I picked up a copy of King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking Book.
The book is full of recipes for whole grain baking that are delicious and balanced, including chocolate loves vanilla bread.
Son #2 took an immediate shine to their Chocolate Loves Vanilla Bread. We’ve been making it together for years. I’m all for anything that gets my reserved child excited to be in the kitchen. Chocolate motivates him.
When we made these loaves, the conversation went a little something like this:
Son #2: “Mom? Can I help you knead the bread?”
Me: “Sure buddy! Come on over. I’d love your help.”
Son #4 (interjects): “Okay…but jus’ so you know, I’m mom’s OFFICIAL helper!”
Many little hands have helped me slightly tweak the recipe over time so that we find it to be an absolutely perfect balance of texture and flavors while still maintaining the whole grain integrity. Son #2 prefers to enjoy a slice as soon as it’s possible to do so without singeing taste buds off his tongue. He suggests using the remainder of the bread to make “the best french toast in the whole entire world.”
That Son#2…he knows a good thing when he tastes it!
Chocolate Loves Vanilla Bread is definitely a very good thing!
Sweet, vanilla-infused whole grain sweet dough with a generous helping of chopped chocolate kneaded into tender loaves. It’s the perfect balance of soft and sweet with hearty whole grains.