Chocolate Prune Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.
  • BRIOCHE DOUGH (makes enough for 4 one-pound loaves)
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets) (I use instant yeast and reduce amount to 1 tablespoon.)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 7-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 pounds of the brioche dough
  • softened butter for greasing the pan
  • 6 ounces chopped high-quality bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped prunes
  • egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top of bread and preparing the pan
  1. BRIOCHE: In the bucket, mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, melted butter, and water. Add the flour and stir using a heavy wooden spoon. The dough should be loose, but it will firm up when it chills. Any lumps in the dough will disappear in the finished breads. Cover (not airtight) and rest at room temperature for about 2 hours, until the dough has risen and collapsed or at least flattens slightly on top.
  2. Chill with the lid on for up to 5 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze in 1-pound portions for up to 4 weeks. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using, then follow directions in the recipe for resting and rising.
  3. CHOCOLATE PRUNE BREAD: Flour your hands. In the bucket, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut away a 1-1/2 pound (cantaloupe size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and shape quickly into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough as you work it in a circle in your hands, pulling the dough underneath to create a smooth taut surface. Use a rolling to roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Use just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, but avoid working extra flour into the dough or it will be dry.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate and prunes over the rolled dough, staying about 1/2 inch away from the edges. Roll the dough, pressing with your hands as you go to work the prunes and chocolate into the dough. Some pieces may poke through the dough, and that’s ok.
  5. Dampen your hands with water and form the dough into a loaf shape. Place it in the prepared pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  6. Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350º F. Just before baking, brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top.
  7. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until firm. Adjust time as necessary for a smaller or larger loaf. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing.
More Information

5 to 6 quart food service bucket with a lid or similar
9x4x3 loaf pan, buttered and sprinkled with granulated sugar
rolling pin
plastic wrap

Recipe Notes

Prep Time does not include initial dough bucket prep, which takes up to five days resting time.
Recipe by Andrea Meyers at