Think of this as a giant chocolate chip studded scone. With its crispy crust and cake like interior this is a quick bread that is just as nice for dessert as it is for a snack. And it is easy; very easy. The recipe comes from the kitchens of the Washington Post and the first time I baked this recipe the bread got eaten so quickly that I now make two (baked on two separate baking sheets). It is that good. The loaf is free formed so you can experiment with its shape–make two or four smaller loaves, make it round or rectangular–whatever you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the baking time if your loaves are smaller.
And because I am a fan of chocolate I prefer to use miniature chocolate chips since I think they give you more chocolate for your buck. You can also switch out the chocolate chips for diced dried fruit or use a combination of chocolate and fruit (sour cherries are particularly good).
RUSTIC CHOCOLATE CHIP TEA BREAD
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
1/3 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into teaspoon-size chunks
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons, if needed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and 1/3 cup of the sugar.
- Drop in the chunks of butter pulse until pea sized dough balls form. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, the 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of buttermilk and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture, sprinkle with the chocolate chips. USe a wooden spoon or paddle to stir, forming a rough, cohesive, slightly sticky dough. If the dough seems a little dry, drizzle it with an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
- Gather the dough into a rough mass with your hands, then knead lightly until it comes together completely, using firm strokes to gather it all cohesively. Form the dough into a 5 1/2-to-6-inch ball.
- Place the ball of dough at the center baking sheet. Use a sharp paring knife to score an 1/8-inch-deep cross in the top of the ball of dough, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the top.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the loaf is set, golden on top and baked through. It should sound hollow when you lightly tap the top or bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Cool, on the baking sheet, on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slip a metal spatula under the loaf and transfer it to a separate rack to cool completely.
- Use a serrated knife to cut slices or wedges.