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Chocolate Braids

"This bread is fantastic and gets rave reviews every time. The recipe is a little more complicated than some, but worth every minute of it."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 loaves (8 slices each)


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup honey, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • ICING:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 2 teaspoons honey; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter, egg, cocoa, salt, 1-1/2 cups bread flour and remaining honey. Beat 2 minutes or until smooth. Stir in enough remaining bread flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down; divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion into a 12x7-in. rectangle.
  • In a small bowl, beat filling ingredients until smooth. Spread half of the filling over dough to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.
  • Place seam side down on a large greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise, leaving one end intact. Carefully turn cut sides up. Loosely twist strips around each other, keeping cut side up. Pinch ends to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. For topping, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Add nuts. Sprinkle over loaves.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. In a small bowl, combine confectioner's sugar, cocoa, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over warm loaves.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 274 calories, 11g fat (6g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 147mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • shecooksalot
    Feb 20, 2013

    This bread is very good, but there are a lot of steps to make it and it is a bit time consuming. Next time I will probably do as the other reviewer and substitute the macadamia nuts for something else because they are super expensive and I really didn't like the taste of them with the bread.

  • rharkless
    Mar 10, 2009

    This bread is very good. Everyone at my small group loved it. I did make one change, though - I used pecans instead of macadamia nuts.