This makes a delicious breakfast to serve with strong coffee or hot chocolate. The loaf only has one rise, so it has the characteristic uneven holes and rustic focaccia. Flavoured with dark chocolate, it is not overly sweet, though you could use a combination of dark and milk or even white chocolate for extra sweetness. You might like to try adding grated orange zest or chopped toasted hazelnuts to the dough too. (Optional)
10g fresh yeast
30g castor sugar
150g-160ml tepid water
50g dark chocolate
250g strong white flour plus extra to dust
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to grease
1.Put the yeast and sugar in a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of the tepid water and stir until yeast and sugar have dissolved
2.Chop the chocolate into roughly 1cm pieces
3.Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast liquid and 1 tbsp of the oil. Add three quarters of the remaining water, using some to swill out any yeast left in the bowl. Stir quickly adding as much of the remaining water as you need to make a soft but not sticky dough, mixing well.
4.Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until slightly elastic and smooth. Do not be tempted to add more flour if you can possibly knead it without; the dough should be soft and a little wet. Gently knead in the chocolate pieces.
5.Shape the dough into a tight round or oval shape by pulling it around itself then transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Pat it lightly in to flatten a little. Making sure the chocolate pieces are not sticking out of the dough. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm.
6. Place in a warm place and leave to rise for about 1-3 hours or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C
7.To check the dough has risen enough, lightly press it in towards the base with a finger; it should leave an indent. With lightly oiled fingers, make dimples at regular intervals over the surface of the dough. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp oil over the top.
8.Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden. To test if it is cooked, turn the loaf over and tap the outside; it should sound hollow and feel somewhat light for its size. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Served with hot chocolate.