2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tbsp. kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (e.g., Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup lukewarm brewed espresso or strong coffee
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
4 large eggs
1/2 cup neutral-flavoured oil
3/4 cup honey
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water) for brushing on top crust
raw sugar for sprinkling on top
Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
Combine the liquid ingredients and the chopped chocolate, and mix with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine. The dough will be loose, but it will firm up when chilled. Don’t try to use it without chilling at least 2 hours.
Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Freeze it in 2-pound portions. When using frozen dough, thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before use, then allow the usual rest/rise time.
On baking day, grease an 8-1/2x 4-1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
Elongate the ball into an oval and place it into the loaf pan; your goal is to fill the pan about three-quarters full. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest and rise for 1 hour 45 minutes.
Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the centre of the oven. If you’re not using a baking stone in the oven, a 5-minute preheat is adequate. Steam is not needed.
Just before baking, Use a pastry brush to brush the loaf’s top crust with egg wash, and then sprinkle with the raw sugar.
Bake near the centre of the oven for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, until firm. Remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.
On baking day, grease a muffin tin. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-1/2-pound (small cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a smooth ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
To form the cupcakes, divide the ball into 12 roughly equal portions (each about the size of a golf ball). Shape each one into a smooth ball as you did above. Place the buns in the prepared muffin tins. Allow to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 40 minutes.
Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the middle of the oven. If you’re not using a baking stone in the oven, a 5-minute preheat is adequate.
Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top crust with egg wash, and then sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are richly browned and firm. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow to cool on a rack before eating.