i have a skillet for you.
it's not a skillet of eggs or pasta or bacon.
it's like a skillet of love.
because it's bread. fresh, soft, warm out of the oven bread.
perfumed with buttermilk and cherries and chocolate!
see, it is love.
this bread is too yeasty to be dessert.
but it's sweet and delicate enough that dunking it in soup would be a disgrace.
chunks of dark chocolate and dried cherries are folded into the sticky dough. as it rises in a heated oven, the warmth melts the chocolate and after a few punches and a knead or two, your beautiful dough has streaks of chocolate running through its bready veins.
this bread should be for breakfast, toasted with jam.
and the day after that, killer french toast becomes a priority.
on the flip side, this bread could very well be for dinner, with butter, maybe a chunk of cheese and perhaps a citrus cocktail.
invite a neighbor over. tell them not to get excited about eating salad or beef.
if they sound bummed, tell them about the chocolate.
Chocolate Cherry Skillet Bread
adapted from Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk, warmed (110F)
3 large eggs
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup chopped tart dried cherries
raw sugar, for sprinkling
in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the buttermilk and let stand until foamy. about 10 minutes. add 2 of the eggs, the flour, and the salt and mix on low speed until combined. Add the butter and beat on medium-high speed until the butter is incorporated. fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead the dough on low speed for about 5 minutes. the dough will be very sticky. add the chocolate chunks and cherries and knead just long enough to incorporate them into the dough. scrape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles, about 1 1/2 hours. i let the dough rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 and then turned off.
line two 10 inch cast iron skillets or baking pan of your choice with parchment. dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface and punch down. divide the dough in half and form into 2 rounds. while you lightly handle the dough, the slightly melted chocolate will form streaks in the dough. place each mass of dough into the pans, cover with kitchen towels and set aside to rise until puffed, about 1 hour.
position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350. in a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water. brush the surface of each dough gently with the egg wash. sprinkle the tops with a little raw sugar and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. let cool slightly and serve.
these breads are best served the day they are baked and best eaten warm.