If you are looking for the fluffiest ever chocolate swirl bread recipe you've come to the right place. Our vegan recipe truly results in an exquisite soft bread with lovely pockets of air and crunch thanks to the pecans. Its swirls are made from decadent vegan chocolate dough and the bread is finished with edible glitter to make it look even more stunning.
Based on similar ingredients and technique as vegan Japanese milk bread, this recipe might appear complex and scary at first. But rest assured that it's actually very easy to put together and the result is totally worth your time.
The secret to the perfect chocolate swirl bread
Our vegan chocolate swirl bread is made using tangzhong. This is an Asian technique which originated in Japan and became popular all over the world. The idea behind it is very simple. You mix a small percentage of the flour with liquid (usually water or milk, and in our case oat milk) and you mix it on the hob until you get a pudding-like consistency.
So why is this special? Because it allowed the flour to absorb more water. This is the case when you knead the flour also, which means the flour becomes less stick and easier to knead. Also, the bread itself rises a lot more and becomes moister and fluffier. Plus, it stays soft and fresh for a prolonged period of time which is why you can enjoy this bread for up to 5 days without it getting dry and icky!
How to make the chocolate swirl bread
Gather all your ingredients. I find it most time effective to do everything in the following order: Chocolate Dough, Tangzhong, Fluffy Bread Dough, Assembly and Bake. So let's start step by step and show you how everything should look like when they are done.
Make the Chocolate Dough
Melt the chocolate (Bain-marie style). Break chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl. Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.
In a different bowl, melt the butter.
Using a relatively large non-stick saucepan, mix the milk, sugar and flour. Mix well to ensure no lumps remain. Add the melted chocolate, pecans, vegan butter, cocoa, corn starch and aquafaba. Put the saucepan on the stove, on low heat and whisk the mixture until it thickens. The result should be a soft dough.
Put the Japanese chocolate dough over a sheet of cling film and wrap it up. Place in the fridge and allow it to cool.
Make the Tangzhong
While your chocolate dough is in the fridge, cooling, it's time to make the Tangzhong. This is super easy to put together. Whisk together the bread flour and the oat milk in a saucepan, making sure no lumps remain. Add the mixture over low heat and whisk continuously until it thickens.
When ready, transfer into a small bowl and allow it to cool.
Make the Fluffy Bread Dough
Mix together the lukewarm oat milk and one tablespoon of sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the yeast to the bowl. Set aside for around 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
Mix together the bread flour, sugar and tsp salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment. Add the tangzhong, the yeast mixture and the aquafaba. Mix for around 10-15 minutes. The result should be a soft and sticky dough. The dough should not be wet. If it feels wet, you should add a tad bit of flour and mix again. Add the vegan butter and continue mixing for another 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured bowl, cover and set aside to proof for around 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
Knockback the dough on a lightly floured work surface. When it's ready, roll the dough to a square of around 30 cm with 30 cm.
Prepare a bread baking tin. Lightly grease it with a little vegan butter and dust it with flour.
Place the chocolate dough in the middle of the bread dough. Wrap the chocolate dough in the bread dough, one fold at the time. You should not be able to see the chocolate dough anymore, it should be fully enveloped in the bread dough.
Using your rolling pin, roll the dough until doubled in size*. Fold the dough once, then roll again. Repeat this a couple of times. Finally, roll the dough into a rectangle the size of your bread baking tin in width and three times the size in length. (In my case it was 25cm in width and 36cm in length as the size of my bread tin is 25cm x 12cm)
Using your fingers, start rolling the dough from one end, similar to a swiss roll. Roll as tightly as you can. Place the rolled bread in your prepared bread tin.
Allow to proof for around 30 minutes until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 175 C/ 350 F.
Bake in the centre of the oven for around 35 minutes. After 20 minutes, check on the chocolate swirl bread. If you see that the top becomes too coloured already, cover with aluminium foil and continue baking until the 35 minutes are up.
Let it cool in the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
This fantastic chocolate swirl bread lasts for up to 5 days. All you need is to keep it in a plastic box, covered with a tea towel. You shouldn't keep it in the fridge and you don't need it to put it in an air-tight container. We don't recommend freezing it as fresh tastes best.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.