Pull-Apart Chocolate Chrysanthemum Bread

Set this warm, chocolate-filled bread on your table for brunch and let your friends and family dive in. You don't need to make a specific number of circles with the cutter, just fit as many as you can into your cake pan.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min (includes rising time)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Dough:

1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey or light agave syrup

2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working the dough (see Cook's Note)

Filling:

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions

Special equipment:
a 3 1/2-inch round cutter
  1. For the dough: stir the yeast and 1 teaspoon honey into 1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F). Let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and yolks, olive oil, salt, remaining 1/4 cup honey and the yeast mixture. Mix on low until combined. Add 4 cups flour on low speed, 1 cup at a time, and mix to form a smooth, wet dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-high, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour to make a slightly sticky dough that forms a ball around the hook, 4 to 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, place in a large bowl and lightly coat in olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. For the filling: Meanwhile, stir together the chocolate, butter, pecans, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl to make a chunky paste. 
  3. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan and set aside. When the dough has risen, punch it down and roll with a lightly floured rolling pin on a well-floured work surface into a 24-by-16-inch rectangle (about 1/4-inch thick). Use a 3 1/2-inch round cutter to cut out as many circles as you can from the dough. Fill each circle to the edge with about 1 tablespoon filling and fold in half, then in half again, so it looks like a quarter of a circle. Pinch the tip of the dough so that the rounded edge opens slightly. Arrange pieces, pinched-side down, in a circle around the edge of the pan with some space between the pieces and the chocolate filling showing at the top. Arrange 2 more circles in the pan, ending with one piece in the center. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the risen dough with beaten egg and bake until golden and the center of the bread registers about 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (avoid touching the pan), 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove and serve warm. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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