Yield: 1 loaf
This is my spin on cozonac de nuca, a Romanian bread. My version adds chopped chocolate to the traditional cocoa powder for depth of flavor and richness. Walnuts are abundant in Eastern European cooking, but I like to add pecans to give the bread a unique flavor and an American twist.
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This bread is not only visually stunning, but absolutely delicious, as well! My husband claims it’s the BEST bread he’s ever eaten, and I have to agree! I’m not an experienced baker, so I wasn’t expecting mine to look like the picture, but I followed everything to the “T”, and mine turned out just beautiful! I was so excited! I’ll definitely be making this bread every Easter from now on (and maybe a few times in between!)
This bread is so delicious and visually appealing. It was pretty straightforward to make and the photos are helpful for figuring out assembly. The fact that it’s baked in a loaf pan gives you a pass on an imperfect braiding technique.
Like a previous reviewer, I too wondered why the milk needed to be boiled and then cooled.
Can’t wait to make this again and to try the other recipes based on this master sweet dough.
Delicious recipe. Would definitely make again.
I'd never seen the technique of making the 'yeast paste' with flour that the master sweet dough recipe calls for but it worked fine. Not sure why the milk had to be boiled first, when a quick zap in the microwave up to the required temp seemed like it would be sufficient but I did it anyway.
As I made the rolls for my braid, I have to say the third one looked better than the first one! However it really doesn't matter what they look like in the end since it's all twirled together and this bread does not require a perfect braid to look good. I actually cut my finished braid in thirds and made mini loafs. Each looked slightly different but they tasted great which is what really matters in the end.
When I saw a new recipe from Nicole Rees, I had to try it. It is a bit of work but definitely worth it to have chocolate bread for breakfast. The dough is very soft and tricky to work with. I lined up my three layers on parchment paper, which made it a bit easier to handle. Still, braiding was a challenge. I ended up sort of twisting it all together and putting it in the loaf pan. Didn’t use the egg wash finish, nor the butter after the fact, but did sprinkle with a little sugar when it came out of the oven. I baked it for an hour because my skewer was still quite wet at 50 minutes. However, I think that may be because I made too much filling (I used 3 egg whites instead of 2). I let it sit in the loaf pan for an hour or so before unmolding. The bread came out great and is is quite delicious … but no surprise, it’s Nicole Rees.
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