At sunny Club Med resorts, there is a handmade bread that has a fan following called white chocolate bread. It's a crusty white bread with chunks of white chocolate dotted through it, making a velvety, sweet treat. I was skeptical at first; I love a good, crusty bread, and I fawn over white chocolate anything, but white chocolate IN crusty bread? My curiosity got the best of me, though. I had to try it.
This recipe makes two loaves, but you can find the original Club Med recipe here.
Making White Chocolate Bread
It's a simple enough bread recipe, just five ingredients. Head pastry chef Charles at Club Med Sandpiper Bay recommends Hershey’s white chocolate but I keep Ghirardelli in the house as my preferred baking chocolate, so that's what I used. We are also using bread flour to get a good chewy texture with the added gluten and protein.
To make white chocolate bread, start by proofing your yeast. Mix lukewarm (not hot) water, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one, or a large bowl if you don't. Let the yeast mixture sit for at least five minutes, till it looks frothy on top. Lastly, mix in the flour and white chocolate chips.
It is a much higher white chocolate to bread ratio than I expected, so it can be a little hard to mix it in. I'd suggest alternating flour and white chocolate to mix them together better. I made my dough first, then kneaded in the white chocolate, and that was tricky even with a dough hook on a mixer. I wound up finishing it by hand. Once your dough is fully incorporated, knead it for 5 minutes to get that chewy texture in the final product.
Once the dough has been kneaded, let it rest in the bowl covered by plastic or a towel until it's risen, about one hour.
Split the dough in half, and shape on a floured surface however you'd like. I went with two rounded loaves but you could make two thin baguette-style loaves or a couple of smaller dinner rolls. The dinner rolls will cook faster, so you would need to keep an eye on them to make sure you pull them out at the right time.
Once shaped, dust with flour and allow the dough to rest for another hour on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. When the hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for ten minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
When finished, the loaves should have a golden-brown crust. All of the white chocolate in the dough will have made sweet, creamy pockets and the white chocolate sticking out of the crust will caramelize. Enjoy warm from the oven, or leave covered at room temperature for up to three days.
The warm bread is oddly addicting, crusty, and not too sweet since there is no sugar in the dough, yet rich and full of white chocolate. It would be a perfect and unique addition to a brunch.
White Chocolate Bread and Tea Pairings
Once you have your crusty loaves full of white chocolate, you need a tea to pair with it of course!
I went with Plum Deluxe's White Chocolate Peppermint herbal tea. This tea was one of my first favorites when I found Plum Deluxe. The mint is soothing, but not intense, and the white chocolate makes it creamy and sweet. A perfect pairing with our white chocolate bread.
White Chocolate Bread
- 3 and 3/4 cups of bread flour
- 2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 and 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces of white chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, salt, and yeast and allow it to proof for five minutes, or until frothy.
Add flour and white chocolate chips, alternating and stirring after each addition. The dough will be sticky. If it is too stiff, add additional water a tablespoon at a time.
Using a dough hook on an electric mixer or your hands, knead dough for five minutes.
Cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise for one hour.
Punch dough down after an hour, and separate into two balls.
Lay each ball on a floured surface and form into your preferred shape.
Dust the tops with flour and transfer to a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450℉ and bake loaves for 10 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350℉ and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown.
Cool bread for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Store covered on counter for up to 3 days.