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Homemade Chocolate Orange Braided Bread

This braided bread is a true homemade bread recipe, not a sweet dessert bread, and is filled with notes of chocolate and orange in the best way possible. It's let me go to The Cheesecake Factory or Outback Steakhouse so I can get that good brown bread kind of bread. Panera Bread vibes all the way. Best of all, the sweetness of the chocolate and orange are in your face but in the most subtle way. This homemade brown bread pairs wonderfully with a variety of toppings so make it sweet or keep it savory. You choose!
26g Carbs 6g Fat 1.9g Protein
Prep Time 1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine homemade bread recipe, vegan breakfast recipe
Servings 10 people
Calories 163 kcal


  • electric bread machine for kneading dough (optional) or Vitamix (optional)
  • large bowl
  • kitchen towel
  • large flat baking tray


  • 3 cups All purpose unbleached flour If kneading by hand, keep an additional 1 cup to the side for when kneading dough for surface and if dough extremely wet when kneading and need to add more...will likely not use all of it
  • 1 cup Warm unsweetened non-dairy coconut milk or milk of choice 
  • ¼ cup Olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp Yeast  Active Dry Instant Yeast, I use the one in the yellow package
  • ½ tsp Salt 
  • ½ cup Granulated white sugar 
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder Hershey 100% cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup Sugar free Torani chocolate syrup or chocolate syrup of choice
  • 3 tbsp Orange marmalade Instructions provided below for the homemade orange marmalade mixture I used. This is not to be used on its own as a spreadable marmalade

Orange Marmalade Mixture for Use Only As An Additive to Recipes (Not a spreadable marmalade for toast)

  • 2 Oranges, plus chopped peel from both oranges
  • cup Granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 Lemon, juice only


Orange Marmalade Mixture

  • Sauté all ingredients on stovetop for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and blend in blender. Place in a mason jar and store in refrigerator. Use within 2 months.
  • This makes much more than the recipe calls for but I like adding this mixture when I want a natural orange flavor for pancakes, waffles, bread pudding, or anything else orange.

Chocolate Orange Braided Bread

  • Mix dry ingredients and marmalade together until fully incorporated.
  • Add milk and sugar free syrup at the same times and then slowly add oil last a little at a time
  • If kneading by hand after adding milk and syrup, the oil is added slowly. It will be a sticky dough.
  • If making dough using Vitamix, blend all ingredients together and remove, scraping the sides well. Then knead to form a ball. It will be a sticky dough.
  • If kneading using a machine, knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Place round ball of dough in a large mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in an area ideally with good sunlight covered with kitchen towel and allow to rise for one hour. The dough will double in size.
  • Give the risen dough a good punch to remove the air.
  • Part the dough into three even pieces. If preferred, use a kitchen scale to weigh each piece.
  • Form each piece into a long rope like piece by sprinkling flour on your counter and rolling out dough using your two hands in a back and forth motion
  • Connect the ends of all three pieces on one end and braid as though braiding hair. It does not need to be perfect. It will look beautiful so make it your own.
  • Grease a large flat baking tray and place braided dough onto tray.
  • Cover back with kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  • During second rise, preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and listen to your bread. If it still sounds like a lot of loud bubbling, put back in the over for no more than 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Dress it up with chocolate syrup and jam of choice or each with a nice slice of thick cheddar cheese or peanut butter!
  • Enjoy!
Keyword braided bread, challah bread, homemade bread recipe, vegan bread recipe