Take me to a Korean bakery and I'm like a kid in a candy store. If you've been following along, you know I've made several Korean bread copycat recipes including soboro, coffee rotibuns, and korokke bread. Today I'm adding another to the list: Korean mocha walnut bread! I only get this bread occasionally because it's so dangerously good. Mocha flavored bread is studded with walnuts, baked with a lovely mocha crunchy topping, and filled with cream. It's my little piece of heaven and now you can have it too!
Mocha Walnut Bread
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp warm milk (105-110 degrees F) (213 grams)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 3 cups bread flour (465 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules (10 grams)
- 1 large large egg
- ⅓ cup butter, softened at room temperature (75 grams)
- 1 ½ cups walnuts, toasted, roughly chopped (160 grams)
- ½ cup butter, softened at room temperature (113 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp 30 grams milk (30 grams)
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules (10 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (140 grams)
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (65 grams)
- Make the dough. Combine the warm milk with 1 tsp sugar and yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is activated and foamy.
- Combine the yeast mixture with the bread flour, sugar, salt, instant coffee, egg, and butter in a large bowl and mix until the dough starts to come together. Add the walnuts and continue to knead the dough until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover, and let proof in a warm area for 1 hour. The dough may not double in size but should still rise.
- While the dough is proofing, make the coffee topping. Beat the softened butter with sugar until lightened in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and combine. Combine the milk with the instant coffee, stirring to dissolve the coffee. Add the coffee milk mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until combined.
- Add the baking powder and flour and mix just until combined. Wrap the topping in plastic wrap, shaping it into a rectangle. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour or until firm.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 6-inch log, slightly flattening the dough to create the shape of the loaf. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough. Loosely cover the bread and let rise for 1 hour in a warm area or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the coffee topping from the fridge. Divide it into 4 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, place the topping on a sheet of plastic wrap. Place another sheet of plastic wrap on top and roll out the topping to the same size as the bread, about ¼ inch thick. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and carefully flip the topping onto one of the bread. Peel off the second sheet of plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining topping.
- Bake the mocha walnut bread for 30 minutes or until the bottom of the bread is browned and the internal temperature is 190-200 degrees F. Let the bread cool completely.
- Make the whipped cream. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Slice the bread in half horizontally. Spread the whipped cream on the bottom half and stack the top half on top. Slice the bread and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This mocha walnut bread takes several steps so let's jump right in, shall we? First, make the dough. We want the bread to be as soft as possible so we're going to make an enriched dough, adding butter, egg, and milk to the dough. And, of course, we can't forget the instant coffee granules, which gives the bread that mocha flavor.
The dough will look dense because of the walnuts but don't worry, it'll work out. Cover the bowl and let the dough proof for one hour in a warm area. The dough may not double in size but it should still rise a bit.
While the dough is proofing, make the coffee topping. We're going to bake the bread with this coffee topping on top to give it a lovely crunch and add extra coffee flavor.
To make the topping, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat until combined. Dissolve the instant coffee in the milk and add the mixture.
Add the dry ingredients including the flour and baking powder, stirring just until combined. The mixture will be very sticky so we're going to chill it in the fridge for at least one hour. You can also make the topping the day before or stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Now let's go back to the dough. Divide the dough into four portions and shape each into a log about 6 inches long. Place the loaves onto a lined baking sheet, loosely cover, and let it rise for another hour. The bread will spread during the second proof so give the loaves space in between to grow.
Preheat the oven and prepare the coffee topping. You want to work fairly quickly because the coffee topping is a wet mixture. It can also be difficult to roll out without adding too much flour on the counter to prevent it from sticking. So here's my handy tip: use plastic wrap!
Cut the coffee topping into four pieces. Then, line your kitchen counter with plastic wrap and place the first portion on top. Place another sheet of plastic wrap on top and roll it until it's about ¼ inch thick. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and use the bottom plastic wrap to lift up the coffee topping and lay it on the bread. Makes clean up a lot easier too!
Now, bake the bread for 30 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. I like to check the internal temperature to make sure they're ready since it's hard to tell just by the color. Let them cool completely before slicing them in half and filling them with whipped cream.
Okay, so I'm going to go ahead and just say it. I think this mocha walnut bread came out even better than I expected. In fact, I think they rival the ones sold at Korean bakeries. Every bite is packed full of mocha flavors, toasty nutty walnuts, and lovely sweet cream. It's just so good!
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