My favourite recipe for chocolate chip cookies is the New York Times adaptation of Jacques Torres’ recipe, which is made with bread flour. Since discovering it, all of my cookies have had bread flour in them because it gives a chew, and a slight sturdiness on the outside that is difficult to forget.
To amplify the bread-like flavour I used yeast as the raising agent and chilled the tray overnight, maturing the fermentation like this created a surprisingly subtle yeastiness. Bicarbonate of soda is fine to use as a replacement, but I’m sick of accidentally adding too much bicarbonate and ending up with a batch of soapy baked goods. Using fast acting yeast eliminates all possibilities of that, and it creates a crispy and crackly top layer caused from the swollen air pockets that rise to the top of the cookie overnight. Yeast and bicarbonate of soda both produce carbon dioxide that helps the cookie rise in the oven, but I much prefer the characteristics of bread in my cookies instead of, say, Imperial Leather.
125g unsalted butter
125g light brown sugar
2 pinches sea salt
1 tsp coffee extract or brewed coffee
200g strong bread flour
½ tsp fast action yeast
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
50g almonds, whole and roughly chopped
Serves 8 large pieces, or 16 slithers.
In a small saucepan melt the butter on medium heat. Let the butter sizzle in the pan for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it as it burns really quickly, you’ll know it’s browned when it starts to smell nutty. Pour the butter into a bowl and leave to cool slightly. Add the sugar, salt and coffee extract to the brown butter and stir to combine. Crack in the egg and briefly whisk. In a separate bowl stir together the flour and yeast and add to the butter mixture, mix until the flour is well combined, the mixture will be a little wet. Fold through the chocolate and almonds. Dump the dough into an 8-inch round cake tin and use the back of a spoon to press evenly into the tin. Tightly wrap the tin in cling film and leave in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 200 C and bake for 18 minutes, or 14 minutes for a squidgier centre.
Cookie lasts for three days if kept covered.